I took off work today. Nothing sneaky like calling in sick. Nope, I bit the bullet and burned a pre-arranged vacation day, so that I could be at ACT all day in advance of Sandbox Radio’s “Swing Time” going up tonight at 8 pm. As an actor, I’m not called until noon (as a writer, I’m not called at all), and since I’m only in Act I. I’m not really needed until much later that that, but I volunteered to help with the load-in. It’s something that all genuine theatre artists do, at least every so often. Here’s why…
All good and true theatre is subversive in some way. Always. It might be subversive in content, but that’s really just a surface aspect. Theatre’s true subversion comes from just existing, when all rights and logic, it shouldn’t. (If this sounds vaguely philosophical, then let me put some practical actuality around it. Václav Havel, the first president of a free Czech Republic, was a playwright before his political success. He made theatre that threatened the Soviet –backed status quo. The powers-that-were would have gladly silenced him, and sometimes did, but the subversive nature of theatre made it impossible for the totalitarian regime to shut up Havel, and other subversive theatre artists, for long.
Shows like Sandbox Radio Live! “Swing Time” aren’t supposed to happen. They don’t fit any preconceived notion of what theatre is or should be. In fact, Sandbox Radio Live!, like all good and true theatre, explodes those notions. Theatre at its best provides a venue for ideas and visions that don’t fit into the money-making machine of corporate story-telling (i.e. Hollywood, Broadway, etc.)
And in order for such wonderful subversion to take place, sometimes the artists need to make it happen with sweat equity and sheer force of will, doing jobs they were never trained for, working hours no one ever warned them about.
And thus the result is like nothing you’ve ever seen. Guaranteed.
Git yer tix. (There’s only a handful left.)