Say what you will, Elementary School Theatre is still theatre. Last night as hundreds of parents, grandparents, cousins and friends filed into the auditorium of a school in Pasadena, the tangible “excitement before the show” electricity was in the air. I know this feeling. It’s the energy that kept me going at Pacific Theatre when I was tired, busy, or overwhelmed. I would leave the office and walk up to the front of house just as they were opening the doors and I would stand at the back of the house while everyone found their seats. Tangible excitement.
Books, papers, and dissertations have been written about why this excitement exists – why we love theatre. I don’t want to attempt to address that here. I just know that there’s a thick energy in the air before a live theatre show; one that just isn’t as viscus in the cinema (although slightly present).
Last night, that energy was present for an Elementary School production of The Beauty & The Beast. Two of our friends were in the show! One played Beauty…
…the other was in the chorus. They are talented sisters.
Of course it wasn’t the best production of the Disney story ever, but it was theatre. And the audience enjoyed themselves. And they were rewarded for their investment – their excitement. 180 pre-teens told a story, with costumes and music, and lights; and an audience came, and an audience laughed, and an audience nearly cried. Theatre happened. And it was good.