What's it about?
A collection of four short domestic plays by Irish playwright Teresa Deevey, found in a suitcase kept under her bed for decades.
What I experienced?
That announcement rang through the theater just before the first set of plays began.
The plays themselves were okay. I had selected to see these shows because I don't get enough Irish theater in my diet. They were simple, they were funny, they all kind of had the same themes about marriage.
I couldn't get away from the thoughts, however, that this was the first time most of these plays were being performed to an audience. Any audience. I was there for the opening night, and this was really the first of any instance of the plays being performed anywhere.
I suppose that there is this uniqueness to being the first audience to see a play. Not just a new play, not just something that's just come to the stage. Something that for all intents and purposes was nearly lost to history as something a writer wrote once upon a time and it was abandoned. Not to propose that the work of Teresa Deevey is akin to discovering an authentic, believed lost Billy Shakespeare play.
But, as a member of the audience, regardless of opinion, if you're the first group of people who see something never staged before, you have to acknowledge some kind of historical importance. Do I believe that Deevey's found one-acts are going to become staples of literature? How the fuck would I know?
How did the howling drunkards and fanatical Fancies™ feel at the very first presentation of Billy's Hamlet or Macbeth or the entire Henry V saga? You become an immortalized part of a play's history that people never know about, no one ever talks about the audiences who see the show outside of statistics. It's that very first audience who sees the show and spreads the word. It's that first audience who get to bear witness to the stagecraft and the woven words of the writer.
Maybe one day the Suitcase Under The Bed will be a household name and I can say "Yo, dawg, I was at the very first presentation of that." I doubt that day will come, but it's a cool thought.
Want to see it?
What did you experience?
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