|LAURA LOOMER - A STAR IS BORN ON BROADWAY|
@LauraLoomer was immensely brave and bold to seize the stage, but she committed no violence. That is the beauty of Live THEATER— MarcyStageRight (@life_ontherocks) June 18, 2017
This is for my conservative friends who seem not be regular theatergoers, nor to understand the incredible intellectual and emotional power of live theater. There are many drama historians who believe that the invention of theater was key in the creation of the cultural flowering of Ancient Greece, enabling the separate tribes to rise from destructive vendettas and tribal feuds to the beauty of ideals like justice and mercy, and to viscerally comprehend concepts like violence has terrible consequences on individuals and nations.
I never realized how important it was to live in a town where live theater was something everyone did frequently, until I went to a touring Broadway show in Los Angeles. To say that it was painful to be a part of that LA audience is an understatement. LA is the capital of canned laughter, the machines laugh for you. As I found myself the only person laughing out loud, I realized that the Los Angelenos just didn't know how to respond to live theater, they'd had no practice.
One of the beauties of the theatrical experience is that you share the laughter and tears with a large group of people, the audience. Acting live on stage requires great daring. You are alone in front of people who are hungry to have an emotional experience and you have to dig deep to find the chords of speech and behavior that will play the music of the story.
But many shows and actors fail miserably at this. An old actor's saying is that actor's invented acting and audiences invented coughing. But it often gets worse. Catcalls, jeers, boos and, like the very popular movie review site, Rotten tomatoes being thrown was not uncommon. I was at a show once where the lead actor on stage turned to a noisy audience and cursed them out and told them to shut up before he would continue. He was playing Richard the Third, so he was perfectly in character, but perhaps not entirely justified. But we shut up. Theater is a two way street, and actors die up there without a responsive audience.
At the risk of sounding like the aging Sixties hippie that I am, theater is a happening. I used to work as the house manager at the Actor's Studio just so I could watch the same play for fourteen nights running. Every single night, it was a different performance that drew a different response from a different audience. Theater is a live animal and fascinating.
What Laura Loomer did onstage at the used-to-be aptly named Public Theater was a beautiful expression of the kind of fervid passion every real stage shows wants to elicit. The production of Julius Caesar was blatantly portraying Caesar as President Trump, INVITING, baiting all Trump lovers. They got a response which is just what they deserved. And unwittingly, they made Laura Loomer more famous than any of the actors in the play, who were only playing parts. Laura stole their thunder and stole the show. That happens. Some actors hate to work with darling unpredictable children because their spontaneity steals focus and there isn't a darn thing an actor can do but wait until the child is offstage.
Please remember theater is and must be live. It's totally different from movies and TV, which are experienced in a kind of solitary thoughtfulness. Theater is supposed to get the audience churning in their seats. Nobody wants an insipid show, we want to be excited. Laura Loomer was the most exciting person on stage in all of New York City. A STAR IS BORN.
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