It happens in the life of every theatre project: eventually there is a closing night. It is a night of mixed emotions: exhaustion, accomplishment, and sadness, to name a few. As this is my last post for LivingArts I can't help but think about the ends of other creative projects and their significance. The conclusion that I have come to is that the reason closing nights are so emotional for those involved is tightly linked to the thing that makes theatre great. That magic that makes it my favourite art form: theatre is live.
At times it even feels like it's not just live but alive. Every single performance of every single production I have been involved with has been different. This difference could be enumerated in countless small changes in lines, timing, emotional emphasis, etc, but is best described as the 'energy' of a performance. Some performances have a somber-feeling energy that wasn't there the night before and some are suddenly hilarious. The key to this is the one ever-changing variable: the audience. Actors on stage can hear you laugh, cry, gasp, hold your breath, or shuffle uncomfortably in your seat. We are listening. Theatre cannot be without an audience and in that way every viewer participates in the creation of the work. The audience is essential and unique. In that way not only closing night but every night is the last one of its kind.
Closing night however is the last time that these specific magicians collaborate to make this particular magic. One last time to bring all the myriad components together to create the unique live performance that only this production in this space with these artists at this time can create. For that reason it holds a special place in my heart.
In closing, there is a living art form happening in your city; it is unique and growing rapidly. What is happening in the theatre community in Hamilton could only happen here and now. It's magic that can only happen if you show up to see it. Don't miss it.