Wednesday, February 18, 2009

If Not for Our Audience…

Posted by Kurt Ehrmann of The Hypocrites

Kurt Ehrmann
Well it’s done—for good or ill The Hairy Ape is open for business. It’s been a hard play to wrap my head around but, truth be told, they all are. Theater is just a weird thing to do. We work as hard as we can to create a piece of art for ourselves, the whole time knowing the only thing that matters is the collaboration that happens once the audience arrives.

Theater asks a lot of you, and with no small amount of fear and pride I believe The Hypocrites demand a good deal on top of that. It’s crazy, really, that when you think about it we are asking, Please give us some money and come to this place at this time and celebrate with us how deeply painful and alienating it is to be a human being. We’ll have a few laughs along the way but make no mistake, consciousness is horrifying. We’re very mean to each other most of the time and there’s no doubt that we all would have been much happier had we been born otters.

But it’s better than TV.

Just think, in 1922 there was no TV. But there was Eugene O’Neill, complete with his broken heart, bottomless glass of whiskey and a stack of paper upon which he wrote this savage little play about Yank and his quest to belong somewhere. Here we are 87 years later and Yank is still searching. A sacrifice never ends well for the offering, and Yank is our sacrifice.

And yours, if you’re game enough to join us. I hope you do. If not for the audience, all of our work won’t be worth a monkey-fur coat.

-Kurt Ehrmann

1 comment:

  1. I’ve worked in theater in some form or another since high school. Now, because of the illness that blindsided me over a year ago, I really feel like a spectator sitting in the audience watching the future of green, Eco-responsible theater rushing by in flashes. It’s really difficult to do.