Follow

One time George Bernard Shaw sent out a four-page appendix to one of his plays begging the audience to shut the fuck up during the play, do not applaud, do not cry, and DEFINITELY do not laugh, you are so ugly when you laugh, smiles make no noise, and I think about this a lot

@Pixley I particularly like his insistence that they're throwing off everybody's schedule

@MoMartin and his insistence that laughing makes you tired!!

@Pixley @MoMartin if your plays are just the right length: that is, quite as long as you can bear, then why is this pamphlet 4 pages too long :teafrog:

@triz I agree, and I would add: what a doofus

@Pixley I don't know why I get him mixed up with Bertrand Russell, but honestly I'm not that mad about it,

@Pixley thank you karen. I knew I could count on you to validate me

@Pixley should I soil your mentions with my serious Actor Thoughts?

@Pixley on one hand, GBS is being a dingus. I'm not familiar w the play but Wiki says it's political satire, asking an audience to be *silent* is ridiculous. Genuine audience reactions give energy to actors, the confidence that people are with you helps you get into a flow state. Also audience reactions don't "disjoint" performance? maybe this wasn't true in 1913, but rehearsals aren't silent (crew react) plus you get accustomed to an audience presence during previews. OTOH...

@Pixley assuming he's not exaggerating: going 30 min over the runtime sounds awful. Heavy costumes under hot lights takes endurance, esp if you're on stage for a long time and can't sit/drink water. I'd assume cast/crew in 1913 would not be paid for the extra time either. Also assuming a 2 hr runtime, that's a *lot* of time to be pausing. Applauding for jokes is weird and feels forced and performative on the audience's part, I think that would make it difficult to stay in character

@tessaracked yeah 30 minutes sounds like a lot! I don't really know what theater-going in 1913 was like, but the whole thing seems....like overkill

@Pixley it made me think of when I saw an advance screening of Phantom Thread at an arthouse theater and 700 film bros felt compelled to force laughter every time Daniel Day Lewis said something insulting because they had to make sure everyone around them was aware that they Got It, it was the worst

@Pixley like maybe this is me as a pretty good amateur but not a professional, but I am aware of the audience and I don't get so immersed in a performance that I forget they're there, when people talk to their neighbor or look at their cell phone or have a noisy baby, I notice and it kinda throws me, so I definitely think GBS' cast might have been thrown by an audience cheering after every punchline

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Skull Dot Website!

Skull dot website is an intentionally small instance for friends.