Know your audience

It’s a phrase we’ve heard and said a lot over the past two and a half weeks. When speaking with Martin Lynch, someone asked if he thought that The History of the Troubles could ever be performed in America. He wasn’t sure, because even in Dublin he found that differences in the dialect and humor prevented the audience from reacting to jokes and lines as quickly as they might have if they were a NI audience. It makes me think of how he defined community theatre– theatre that is about a specific community that’s to be performed by that community and makes a statement about a regional identity (rather than your neighbors putting on Shakespeare at the local venue).

And I realized that most of my plays haven’t been for anyone in particular. I thought about what the audience might already know about a universe and what they might not, but I’ve written only two ten-minutes acts with a specific audience in mind. I wrote one about a month ago that was very much about millenials and our culture and to try and communicate that culture to non-millenia generations. I’ve started another that is based on a scene I witnessed during the Baltimore Uprising in a pizza shop, which is about a pretty specific time and place, but hopefully will convey a distilled version of those events from a singular, non-universal vantage point.

I write a lot to understand things myself, but I want the audience to understand my understanding of myself and things around me, understand?

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