And it’s possible the exorbitant number of people checking their phones were attempting to get information on whether or not their office was going to be open tomorrow, or whether their Chelsea apartment had power yet, or if anyone had heard if their brother was safe on Staten Island. Not that I don’t think they could have waited on this one, but you know… it’s possible.
As Act II continues, warmth is growing between cast and audience, a low-grade humming of appreciation as if we all know what is happening. We all know that we are participating in an act of gentle defiance: “We will open our doors. We will sing. We will perform. We willconnect.”
In one of the final scenes, seven of the characters are looking out to the water as the sea gulls circle. Svec utters Enda Walsh’s words, “Dublin is really lovely, isn’t it lads?”
Andrej responds, “A million times heartbroken and still Dublin keeps on going.”
New York City and our surrounding areas have a million or more broken hearts right now, for a million different reasons. But New York City will keep on going and it will be in part because the theatre keeps on going and keeps daring to be raw and available when it’s terrifying, keeps empathizing when it hurts.
To be honest, I hope we don’t have many more matinees like we did today, and if I see another cell phone light up tonight, I may not-so-kindly remind them that flashlights are needed elsewhere and here’s-the-door. However, I do hope to very slowly let go of this potent reminder of why I’m an artist and how serious the business of communion of souls truly is. With truth and tears we will take this day at a time, my family of artists.