One of my favorite things in the world is going into an empty theatre during the day and just listening. I can’t tell you why I love it so much or what, exactly, I’m listening for… The silence inside an empty theatre is different every day, too. I can tell you with certainty that the Bangor Opera House sounded different yesterday than it does today and it will sound different tomorrow. In the silence is a deep sense of possibility and the ghosts of audiences past. The silence seems expectant, fruitful, full…
We recently closed the first show of our season — the boisterous and lively Honky Tonk Angels. Now is the between-shows-time for our theatre but, far from being empty, our theatre is bustling with activity. The cast of The Mystery of Irma Vep is busy rehearsing, the Dramatic Academy Tiny Thespians and Youth Troupe are learning about the craft of acting while rehearsing Frankenstein, our extraordinary scenic artists are building a new theatrical world onstage, and our exceptional box office staff is superbly handling the onslaught of ticket requests for all of our upcoming shows.
Once upon a time, I got to speak with Ed Stern, the outgoing Artistic Director of Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. We were chatting about theatre when he said that the question he gets asked the most is “What is your favorite play?” His answer, every time, was “The next one.” There’s a cheekiness to that response that belies its seriousness. His answer implies that there will be a next one, and one after that and one after that, world without end. It implies a life-long investment in artistic pursuit. His answer is about momentum and possibility and excitement. I like his answer, though my own is a little different. My favorite play is always this one. My second favorite is the next one.
I am reminded of a line from the Robert Frost poem “Hyla Brook”: “We love the things we love for what they are.” For what they are, not what they were or will be. We love the things we love for what they are, right at this moment. And I love our theatre right now — for its expectant silence that belies the tremendous creativity that is happening inside.
Tickets are currently on sale for The Mystery of Irma Vep and the Dramatic Academy production of Frankenstein. Also, tickets for the holiday production of The Wizard of Oz just went on sale this week. We’re expecting lots of folks to come to these shows, so get your tickets soon! Call our box office at (207) 942-3333 to reserve your tickets.