Swords clashed, fighters groaned and the audience gasped as a battle raged on stage and actors fell to the ground. At the end (spoiler alert) the bad guy, Macbeth, was killed by Macduff in this Shakespeare play at the Hatbox Theater in Concord. Some of you may already know the outcome but I was glad Macbeth died.
This play was enacted at the former location of Coldwater Creek, now Hatbox Theater, at Concord’s Steeplegate Mall. Surrounded on three sides by seating, the stage is only a few feet away from the audience. Without special effects (,) other than metal swords and period costumes, the actors made the action real. It’s hard to imagine rhyming English and a 400-year-old story coming alive but it did. The next night I watched ‘Vana, Sasha, Masha and Spike’ at the classic Concord City Auditorium (Audi). While this play didn’t have any sword-swinging, the verbal barbs were flying and the actors believable.
What does farming and acting have in common? Maybe nothing, but maybe a lot. Sitting in a space, with other people, watching actors repeat thousands of words they’ve memorized is astounding. These are not actors on TV or on the movie screen. These are people like you and me making magic happen real-time, in front of me and others.
‘Local’ is the connection. These are local actors on a local stage, performing for their neighbors. Just like buying locally-raised food helps neighborhood farmers and tastes good, going to a locally-produced play supports neighborhood actors and also feels good.
Actors are a lot like farmers. How many people have second jobs to support their careers? Most actors have ‘day jobs’ to pay the bills so they can pursue what they love; acting. Many farmers or their spouses have second or third jobs so they can farm. Actors act because they want to provide entertainment. Farmers farm because we want to provide food. Paying the rent or mortgage is important but not primary for farmers or actors.
While I appreciate actors I never want to be one. I could never memorize all those words but I’m glad someone can. For now I’ll converse with my monosyllabic cattle with a good Moo or two! It is worth checking out local plays. Visit your local farmer to buy food and attend a play for amazing entertainment. Like me, you just might get hooked.