Adam Enz –
With Richard III’s October 30 debut fast approaching at Sibert Theatre, I wonder how many people are planning on going?
More importantly I wonder how many people are going just for the sole purpose of enjoying the performance? If we are all being honest, unless we are working in one of these theatrical performances, we usually attend only because we need the convocation credit. My simple question is, why? Why are plays not seen with the same excitement as a movie at the theater or a football game? Every student gets to go absolutely free, and yet getting more than a fourth of the campus to attend rare. If you told me I could go to any theater in-town for a free movie whenever a showing was going on I would hardly be seen on campus. Yet it seems students see plays, whether drama or comedy, as wasted time.
Just a little while ago a small three-man show, put on by IC students Lucas Chamberlain, Nick Hommowun, and Drew Stroud out in the Jacksonville Theater Guild, got me thinking about where society has gone wrong when it comes to appreciating theater.
The Complete History of America (abridged) has by far been the most entertaining play I have seen since The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged). It is not because both plays are ridiculous skits weaved together by a hilarious premises. That certainly has a lot to do with it, but the main reason both were such great experiences has all to do with how the actors interacted with the audience. They literally came off the stage sometimes to integrate the audience and myself into the hijinks. This created a cozy atmosphere in the theater, which broke down the awkwardness that otherwise may have existed. I should explain that my seat was literally three feet from the stage, but that never ruined the show just added to the excitement.
Without a single hitch, the show developed into a performance with the zaniness and creative timing of an LSD improve show, but with the structure and dialogue of a no holds back satire. Of course the chemistry among those on stage was the catalyst to the thrilling performance that never once left me checking my phone for the time. It not just left me laughing, but developed a want for more. More theatre of any kind.
I feel like theatre has the ability to awaken such a want in all of us, but it is never given the chance. Few people, if any, like to try something new, and yet that should be the only purpose that brings us to a liberal arts college in the first place. I am not saying I want plays to be mandatory, but I do think plays should not be a convocation credit. If students want to watch a play and really appreciate it they should not have to be bought. A great play is its own reward.
Adam E. Enz, from South Jacksonville, Illinois is a junior majoring in Communication and Women & Gender Studies. Adam is the Photo Editor for the Rambler. Adam has enjoyed running for IC Cross Country the last few years as well as working for the IC Archives.