It was one of the most arresting – and uncomfortable moments I’ve experienced in the theatre in quite a long time. There I sat, in The Public’s Newman Theatre, watching a performance of the show Soft Power.
In the song, a reprise of a number called “Democracy,” the full company of actors comes down to the edge of the stage. There, standing shoulder to shoulder, 15 performers looked directly into the audience to recognize our presence in the space.
What is it about this line?! Why is it that, in an industry known for spectacle, does stillness provide the most arresting visual images. Why is that, in an artform full of Ziegfeld’s Follies and falling chandeliers, nothing is as effective as doing nothing?
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