Tag Archives: Pandemic

Auditioning for the Faces of America

by Cynthia Wands

Remembering an audience of 11,000 at the MUNY Theatre in 2019

I was watching the Democratic National Convention last night, and I’m still thinking of all the faces and voices from the Americans who appeared during the states roll call.

I’ve watched it three times since last night, and I’m still very moved by it.

I loved seeing the faces, and hearing their individual voices: some of them polished and confident, others were quirky and spontaneous and awkward. It’s a great melange of the people who care to be involved in this difficult period of time.

I miss being part of audiences, crowds, spectators, and feeling like I belong to a large group, a clutch, of people.

Last year I flew over to the MUNY theater to see a production of 1776, a musical I’d never seen onstage before, and I didn’t know much about it. It certainly reflects the time in which it was written, almost a piece of amber with flecks of culture embedded in it. And I still think about it, and the music, even today.

What I also remember about that production was the audience of 11,000 people who saw the show.

The MUNY Theatre in 2019

I wonder when we will ever get to feel that thrill of being together to celebrate en masse and to carry with us the contact high of belonging to such a large animal group.

I will say, that watching the close ups of people’s faces last night on the television, was rewarding and intimate. And it makes me wonder about the scale of what we’ll get to experience in the future.