Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The Puzzle Runs Amok
In today's post, actress Laine Satterfield describes audience reaction so far to Neil LaBute's This is How it Goes at the Firehouse Theatre. The play runs through Nov. 21. More information and tickets are available at the Firehouse Web site.
We're halfway through the run of Neil LaBute's This is How it Goes, and what is so fascinating is the audience reaction.
It's the last piece of a puzzle in the theatre world, and one never knows where that piece might ultimately fit. I love hearing the different reactions: love it or hate it or some combination in-between.
This is How it Goes certainly isn't a black and white play, as far as the audiences go. We get laughs some nights in places I find horrifying, silences some nights when things are truly funny, a largely unattended talkback juxtaposed with a lively one, full of fascinating conversation. Some people who saw it two weeks ago are still talking, and that, I think, is a good sign. Some people aren't talking to me about it at all, which I find equally fascinating. Some people hate the play but love what was done with it.
I keep trying to find a pattern in the dichotomy from the demographics side: age, education, white, black, open, closed, but it doesn't seem to make any kind of sense, like a puzzle that cannot be solved. I rely on the honesty of my friends and family, and even within that close-knit group, I am befuddled.
So, I say to you as potential audience members, come and see the play, give us honest feedback. We, as actors, aren't in the business of analyzing so much as trying to tell a story. This is the story that Neil Labute wrote and that Bill Patton spearheaded. This is how it plays out this night, whatever night, and we would love for you to tell us how it affects you. This is the stuff that makes a run interesting. This is why we delve into the electronic world to gain insight and information and opinions.
So bring it on - your attendance, your reactions, your part in it. You're the missing piece of the puzzle. Thank you to all who have come to see this play and expressed an opinion about it, no matter what side of the puzzle you land on. It's a fascinating process, and I feel blessed to be a part of yet another puzzling portrayal of our flawed humanity.
Belinda in Neil LaBute's This is How it Goes