Mar 5, 2010

Yes Exit

The most popular American Theatre Facebook page question yet was simply yesterday's, "Have you ever walked out of a play at intermission?" The answers ranged from a simple "Yes" to agonized narratives of remorse and fellow feeling for abandoned performers.

One striking recurring theme: More than one respondent confessed to inadvertently leaving after the first act of Waiting for Godot, not realizing there was another act. A few others, oddly enough, knowingly left at intermission of Godot. "There must be something in us that almost can't bear the repetition," offered Ross Beschler.

What piqued my interest, above all, was the divergence between those who almost found it blasphemous to ever walk out on a play, and those who'd more than made peace with the practice, and indeed insisted on the preciousness of their time. As Melissa Hurt put it: "A bad play sucks all my energy out of me!"

There's also this great anecdote from Hayley Smith Pilat:
I got really mad when Harvey Keitel & his wife [left at intermission] after I'd printed comps for them for every performance and this was the final one. Later someone told me that her water broke...doh!
And you have to appreciate the frankness of Brendan Burke's final comment:
If i can see basically where it's going and i have to meet my weed guy, i'll usually walk.

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