Red-Eye to Havre de Grace. Is theatre your way to escape?
The theatre has become my personal haven to escape from the world. Those few hours, to transcend myself into somebody else’s story, are enough for me to let go of all daily annoyances. Last Sunday, was one particular day that I needed to slip away into my cove . I walked down east 4th street scurrying to find the New York Theatre Workshop with ten minutes to spare before show-time. Blocking my path was a parade of people dressed in costumes made of recycled products, which crowded the tiny block. When I finally got through, I rushed into the threshold quickly getting to my seat. Usually I stay in my own little bubble, giving an inviting smile but usually keeping to myself besides a few words with the usher. The theatre was a vast space with very close seats but it allowed me to people watch, which is always a plus when you arrive early. Mostly everyone was dressed in their best lazy Sunday attire looking comfortable and subdued. I saw a lot of notebooks and journals clutched in hands, which made me remember that this was a preview and I was probably surrounded by a bunch of theatre journalists. I overheard people gossiping about the Tony’s or the Drama Desk Awards. They all had very stern faces with edgy smiles waiting for Red-Eye to Havre de Grace to begin.
While sitting there a man from the back came politely asking for me to remove my hat and asking me if I had cigarette. When he left another man wearing a scarf on a very nice spring night took the seat on my right, saying he was a fan of my fashion sense. As the lights began to dim, a women rushed through my row and sat in the other seat, throwing her notebook on her lap and unclicking her ballpoint pen.
As the show went, the story of Edgar Allen Poe’s last hours unfolded. It was telling the story through the eyes of Poe’s insanity. This included a lot of acrobatics, moving furniture, singing and at one point a women on stilts.
While there was so much going on the women next me, confused and obviously frustrated, jotted each moment in her notebook.
While the show came to an end, everyone gave subdued applause and the curtains slowly closed. I was exhausted by all the commotion. When I finally looked at the women, she got up after a few minutes of shaking her head and gave the two women behind her a hug.
Finally, I got out of the theatre. As I walked down the street, I realized that when you’re living in a city it’s a difficult task to find a safe hiding place.