As a Theatre producer, or the seller of any product, it is in your best interest to emit positive and inspirational energy and to never show the vulnerability you feel in trying to gain an audience.
Conversely, as an artist, it’s in your best interest to show every last ounce of your vulnerability once that audience is in the seats, as they’ll love you for it.
So, as both the director and producer of the play “Rapture, Blister, Burn”, which closes at the end of this week in Vancouver, I’m pouring positive thoughts out here, while typing with dirty fingernails.
Every year, my theatre company picks a show to produce which we feel is contemporary in its subject while being entertaining as hell. Over the past year, I have seen a big escalation of talk on the topic of women within the entertainment field. Not a day goes by where I don’t see social media posts about the lack of films and plays written by women, the dearth of fully realized roles for women, the struggle for women’s voices to gain equality with men’s in all areas of contemporary life.
So this year,I found a play which is a slam dunk on this topic. As Cecilia Lu of Vancity Buzz wrote about our show – “Rapture, Blister, Burn is groundbreaking in the way that it goes off the Bechdel test charts, casting four fully-realized female characters.”
With this hot topic onstage, four years of outstanding critical reviews for our plays, more great reviews coming in for this show, sizzling word of mouth and a cast of some of Canada’s finest actors, we have once again gained audience numbers which have been….OK.
Many people in my industry would want to slap me for taking a “theatre half empty” rather than a “theatre half full” point of view.
I am very grateful and appreciative of the audience base that we always get for our shows. It’s rewarding and I love every one of the folks that attends, donates, understands and champions what we’re doing.
But here’s why I’m obsessed with filling every last seat this week, as we close our show this Saturday. It’s got nothing to do with money, ego or the fact that people should “support the arts”, a cry which I hope extinguishes itself someday. People shouldn’t be brow beaten to support the arts, they should be itching to engage.
I believe every last seat should be filled, in our little 80 seat theatre, partly because I think the appetite for what we’re selling is out there, if it’s acted on. I want to live in a city that acts, that embraces wish fulfillment rather than talking about it and where this famous line is more than a popular Facebook post:
If a small fraction of locals who comment on women’s representation in entertainment attended our show, we’d be lined up down the block every night and on a micro local level, more people would be talking about how women ARE being represented onstage in our city. How positive would that be for Vancouver, a city that gets stereotyped as apathetic and entitled?
But that aside, the biggest reason to come is that the show is just really damn good. You will feel ALIVE after this show. Watching it with an audience, I have heard huge laughs, small sobs and have felt silences so full of attention that it gives one goosebumps, an experience unique to live performance.
This energy is born out of the love and attention given to this project by our cast and crew. Each one of the performers is giving a piece of themselves in their characters and there are moments that are as good as you’re likely to see onstage anywhere. If you’re longing to engage in something non-corporate, deeply authentic and wonderfully entertaining, grab yourself a ticket and come out this week.
You’ll be glad you turned your phone off and your soul on for a few hours. I promise you.
It’s all here – www.mitchandmurrayproductions.com