THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE
April 1, 2013
Playwrights do seemingly counter intuitive things; sometimes we build in a moment of silence.
In the stage directions, we call it “a beat”.
That’s a musical term if I ever heard one, the sense that an actor, like a musician, is counting, holding himself or herself from rushing into some new action or spoken word, like a rest in music.
If you’re in the audience, and you see and hear nothing, what are you thinking?
“Oh, my God, he or she can’t remember their lines,” OR, “Oh my God, someone missed an entrance.”
Something must be wrong.
What have I just demonstrated?
Silence on stage is no longer silence when it makes audience members restless.
We desperately try to fill up silences. Yet, those “beats” are the black key’s on the stage’s piano, the white space around the black text on the page, accentuating horror, emphasizing humor, and most of all, helping us identify with a character, like us, trying to figure something out and waiting as a result.
Why am I telling you this?
Because One Way In has and will continue to have “beats”, or in musical terms, “rests”, and when that happens, be an audience member and remember it’s part of the show, and your restlessness suddenly makes it YOUR show as much as that of the actors, musicians, or authors.
One Way In is a challenging show for an audience. If you accept the silence, it will help you be present to the entirety of the show.
I promise you that if you are present in the show, it will not disappoint you.
NEXT TIME: PUNCTUATION
Lars lost his battle with