Welcome to Theatre Ghost!
I’m a lifelong theatre artist, and I’ve been haunting LA’s small theatres for decades.
Besides acting in plays, and writing and directing them, I attend them … 50 or more each year.
That exhausts my pocketbook. But it hardly touches the more than 400 productions staged each year in our city’s black boxes and storefronts.
(Equity calls us the “Under 50s,” looking gently down its nose at the maximum number of seats we’re allowed, and the most we’ve ever paid an actor.)
We’re small and poor, but I think we’re where theatre really lives.
Big budgets beget big headaches — and draw big egos hungry for money or power or fame. Such worries we don’t need. They clog the arteries and stifle the art.
Small spaces and budgets challenge creativity. And our inability to mount a spectacular illusion keeps us focused on story, on people.
The magic of theatre — the thing film, TV and the Internet can’t do — is human contact. The way bodies in a room affect each other. You feel, viscerally, what an actor is feeling a few feet from you. The actor feels your reaction. And that makes a shared story.
You can’t get that from a screen, not even 60 feet wide with 3D and DoubleDeafDolby.
You can’t avoid it in an Under 50 theatre. So that’s where I’ll be writing from.
(Well, “writing about.” I’m actually writing from a tiny room above a wooded canyon, the morning after.)