Today was the last day of this performance for a while. No doubt it will be pulled back out, dusted off, and re-explored. Someday.
The Dining Room was one of those plays that is either understood and played truthfully with all of the characters exposing the good and bad side of us all, or it entirely misses the mark and becomes a unintentional comedy. Without understanding (or)truth characters have nothing that we want to identify with.
One of the things we strive to do in Gloriae Dei Artes Foundation is to encourage younger people to come along side us and explore the Arts for themselves. The benefit of this is almost tangible when you talk to the kids and hear what they have understood. Here is what one of the stagehands said about the last performance today, “ … now it’s time for us to send it off to live a life of its own in the hearts and lives of everyone who came to see it. All we did was give the play legs and a voice to tell its story . It is bigger than all of us- the actors, the tech crew, everyone. Thinking of it that way makes it seem kind of . . . beautiful.
So, until Someday…
This is the last weekend to see this moving play. It is one of those plays where there are moments of stunned silence from the audience because the actor has struck a chord in everyone. This is not to be missed. In Elements theatre company there is an agreement between the players to pursue the truth about oneself and that agreement is played out right in front of everyone.
Here is another post from the stagehands. They are three highschool students that Elements has in their group. The education that they are getting about being honest to oneself in their Art is clear by what they have written here.
“There is something incredible about sitting and witnessing the transformation. To see a child from a birthday party turn into an old man in only a few seconds is amazing. From backstage we can see the difference in posture, walking, and expression. This play really brings out the true meaning of seamless performance.
I was blown away at the last performance when an actor was walking around backstage as one of their characters that is a much older man than he is. It was completely believable to me that he was suddenly 80 or 90 years old! The way he played the character reminded me of a particular elderly man that I knew. Later, backstage I found out that elderly man who he had reminded me of was actually the actor’s exact inspiration! That was so impressive to me that he had so accurately portrayed his inspiration.”
Isn’t this what Art is all about ? What do you think?
for The Dining Room click here.
Here is another quote from a email one of the Highschool age stagehands at The Dining Room sent me:
“One of the emotional challenges of the play is the fact that all of these scenarios, as familiar as they may be to most of us in terms of our relations in everyday life, they never resolve. Each scene you are left with a question of what happens to these relationships. Do they heal, or are they forever destroyed? Can these relationships survive? It can be deeply unsettling, but also begs the question- Where are we unresolved in our own lives?
Exploring this question allowed me to realize what it is that makes the end of the play so emotional. All along, somewhere deep down, you are waiting hopefully for the dining room to have a sense of formality or stability. You are looking for the Norman Rockwell painting of Thanksgiving. But it never happens. Finally, at the very end, you get a glimpse of what you have been searching for throughout the entire play without even realizing it. It is a very humbling experience to realize that life doesn’t work that way most of the time.”
What more can I say ? So simple and so complicated. Come experience for yourself.
And here is a super new article about Elements Theatre Company that just came in from Broadway World !-Click here
Last night was the first public performance of The Dining Room. When I was thinking about it this morning I realized most of the words used commonly by people to describe an emotion have very general meanings. The Arts are a challenge to describe even when the art is the use of words themselves ! How ironic… and frustrating !
Do come and enjoy! It will make you laugh and cry…It truly is worth experiencing for yourself.
Here is a quote from an review that Elements received this Friday:
“The seven actors who compose the entire cast tackle the more than 50 roles, and they do so with great ease. . . . The cast members clearly care for their characters and are enjoyable to watch.”
Cape Cod Times