I’m Going to a Bedroom to See a Play
By Casey Bell
“Did I read that title correctly?” I am sure that is the question you asked yourself, and the answer is yes. Allow me to tell you the story that barely happened. Back in 2017, I had a dream that I was watching a play that I had written, but I never actually wrote it. After the play was over people were telling me how great the play was. I was standing behind a kitchen island and feeling guilty accepting the accolades, because I knew I did not write the play.
When I woke up, I immediately asked G-d what that was about. He simply said write the play.
I went to the computer and wrote a two-act play entitled, “The Lavender Ladies.” I then submitted it to theater companies and festivals and it either got ignored or rejected. I then thought about trying to produce it myself at a theater I work at.
Then one day I was driving on the boulevard of Long Beach Island in New Jersey and thought to myself, why not produce the play in a home. The entire play takes place in a bedroom.
I figured it would be great. I would rent ten or fifteen chairs and place them in the room and direct the play in the bedroom.
I would make sure the house had two bathrooms. One upstairs as a dressing room and one downstairs for the audience, and the kitchen would be the intermission section (concessions). I thought it was an amazing idea. No one had ever done it before, or at least, I think. I set out to look for a house and found one in Atlantic City.
The next task was to find the cast, five women, and a stage manager, and a place to rehearse. I was excited, but also concerned, because I had no clue how I would be paying for all of this, and then of course March 2020 came in and decided it was time for the whole world to take a break.
As of now I am not sure if I will continue with the idea, but what if we as the theater community or even the dance and music community decided that the theater is not the only place you can create performing art.
What would it be like to see a play in a bedroom, or see a dance company in a park, or even hear a band playing while you shop in your favorite clothing store?
Once this pandemic ends, are we going to go back to being normal or are we finally going to fly and go above the sun so we can finally create something new?
Why continue as normal when we do not have to? We can decide to create art in any new forms as we please.
But we will never do so if we only think about how things are being done now. We must find new ways of doing things, so we are not dependent on one building. Why wait for a theater to open to share your art when you can use a house, or a store, or even a prison. Why not create art that speaks to the inmates that would encourage them to better themselves? Or maybe even a play that could speak to the sick in a mental ward.
Art is supposed to transform people into better beings. So, why wait for them to go to the artist, when the artist can go to them?
I still have plans to produce that play in a bedroom just to see how the results play out, but why wait for me to be the first to do it? If you are reading this and you are a performing arts creator, find a new place to share your creativity. Doing something new and innovative is how you get the press to notice. Following bandwagons is easy and normal to do, but how about you be abnormal and create the wagons the band follows.
I hope I encouraged someone to create a new venue for theater, music, and/or dance. Your new idea just might be named after you and you will be in the performing arts textbooks for life. Fifty or a hundred years from now children will be reading about you in their theater or music or dance classes in schools and/or colleges around the world. One day I believe I will be going to a bedroom to see a play. Will you?
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