I’m going crazy over the amount of texting going on in the theatre these days. Do people not imagine it’s driving those around them crazy?
I saw a very bad production of Jon Jory’s not very inventive adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” in Orlando back in February. (more on this tomorrow) People were taking phone calls, texting, even some joker on the far side of the theatre was sending messages, the light of his phone was brighter than the stage lights.
I even chewed out one young theatre goer in Silver Spring at a matinee last month. I’m becoming the crabby old lady I always accused my mother of being.
But then I realized the only time people were taking out their phones was when the play dragged. Nothing interesting was happening onstage. They were bored. And frankly, so was I.
I tested this theory at a few plays that really worked. No one reached for a cellphone. Not a single text.
So here’s my new standard of finding out when a play is working well: when nobody even thinks about taking out their phone. They are too enthralled in the action of the play. They care about the characters. They want to know what happens next.
THAT’s the kind of play I want to write!