Some thoughts on theater

Two weeks ago, I went to a college theater festival in Maryland. Surrounded by crazy

Photo from the festival: a few of us in Midsummer Night's Dream Costumes, designed by Emily West
Photo from the festival: a few of us in A Midsummer Night’s Dream costumes, designed by Emily West (Far right)

theater types, plays, and workshops–including one that taught how to use a feather to achieve inner balance–the nine of us who went had theater on the brain–still do, I suppose.

Since ninth grade, when I acted in my first play, theater has remained an integral part of my life. Many of my friends have been actors and techies, and my evenings–sometimes weekends–often get swallowed by it. Whenever I can, I try to see plays.

It’s a fascinating art. Is has the fragility of music and the visual complexity of painting, kinetic and dynamic like dance, yet grounded in the permanence of writing. It uses space and resonance in ways a film never could and the vocalization of everyday poetry.

And it’s immediate, like life.

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There’s a difference between quiet and silence. Before I graduated high school, I climbed

Photo I took from the summit as the sun rose.
Photo I took from the summit as the sun rose.

Mt. Marcy, the tallest mountain in New York State, with one of my high school friends, his dad, and another scout. We started our ascent at midnight, reached the peak by 4 a.m., and waited for the sun to rise near five.

On our walk up, our breath mingled with the humidity, revealing webs of water vapor in the light of our headlamps. We sometimes talked, but mostly, things were quiet: the shuffling scratches and thuds of our footfalls as we scrambled over rocks, the heavy pants of our breath,  The occasional slosh and swallow of our water, and the continued cracking and hissing of wind laced through forest.

Now and then, I’d hear an animal, it’s sudden rustle breaking the background.

Quiet is a sense of monotony, a pattern, like a radiator rattling and blowing in a classroom. You forget the noise is there. It’s like the air, bearing down on us, stirred up in with fingers, vibrating in pulsing with invisible waves. Yet we feel like nothing is there. Continue reading