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Published May 23, 2014

Live Theater Versus Television: The Value Of The Human-Audience Connection

I am not a man who goes to the theater often. Like the majority of Americans, I prefer my acting in 2D on the biggest screen I can fit in my house. There’s something about the comfort of my home that lets me enjoy fight scenes and love stories in a more intimate way.

Live theater has a different type of intimacy. That seems a little weird to say, because being surrounded by a hundred other people in an amphitheater feels like it should be the direct opposite of intimate. But when the lights dim and the first performer walks out to address the hushed audience, a special bond develops between actor and audience.

It’s as if the performers are sharing a secret that can’t be explained beyond the walls of the theater.

Going to school at Rose High in Greenville, and Broughton High later on, I stood on the other side of the curtain. I helped write, direct, perform, and even build parts of the set. I put my hands on everything I could, and for that I got some real experience on the stage.

Perhaps that’s why I’m looking forward to The Bare Theatre’s production of Two Noble Kinsmen. The Bare Theatre is a local Raleigh troupe dedicated to performing in a more eclectic, non-traditional way. Last year I went to see their production of A Comedy Of Errors because a friend of mine was in it. I was blown away by their novel approach to Shakespeare.

A Comedy Of Errors was not just a run-of-the-mill Shakespearean production, like the average Hamlet, Macbeth, or Othello. Students and teachers from Cirque de Vol Studios joined the mix, adding Circus elements to put a modern twist on a lesser-known play. The result was an inviting display of acting, gymnastics, bold humor, and fire sticks. Watching that show made me appreciate what live theater can do, and what TV cannot.

RELATED: Racism In Raleigh: Remnants of Segregation At Umstead Park.

Two Noble Kinsmen: Fire And Shadows reunites the Bare Theatre and Cirque de Vol to tell the story of a classic Shakespearean love triangle. The play was co-authored by Shakespeare’s contemporary John Fletcher, and came about late in the legendary playwright’s career. The story is a retelling of Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Knight’s Tale,” from his most memorable work, The Canterbury Tales. If The Bare Theatre’s track record is any indication, I will definitely make time to visit the Stephenson Amphitheater sometime during the next two weekends.

The best part is I’ll get to watch a play the old-fashioned way, sitting under the stars with a roaring audience.

The show opens on the 23rd, and continues on the 24th, 29th, 30th, and 31st. Tickets are a steal at $15 a seat. The gates open at 6:30, so don’t miss out! For more information on the production, including rain dates and food truck schedules, please visit the production’s website.

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  • Greg Trombley

    Greg

  • I'm an RDU-based novelist and passionate champion of scientific progression. Nature and science live side-by-side in my heart. I clean dinosaur bones in my spare time, and love reading about local history. All my articles.

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