April 19th, 2009


Why does the ART not love us?

harrock and I were given season tickets to the ART for a wedding present, and we've been renewing them since then. I, admittedly, have always had something of a... well, I wouldn't go so far as to call it a love/hate relationship, but let's say an admiration/bafflement relationship with the ART. I love to keep track of how much they writhe on the floor. I love their lighting designers. I quite like many of their shows. Others of their shows leave me bewildered, or bored. But I keep up my end of the social contract. I don't talk smack about their shows while I'm in the theater. I did not walk out of Three Sisters when the rest of the audience did. I try to laugh out loud at the funny bits. And we give them money every year, in advance, for season tickets.

Every other theater I go to, I feel that part of the social contract between me and them is, I give them money, and they give me the best seats that they have (for the price I'm paying). I don't expect orchestra seats if I'm paying for second balcony. But I do expect that they will not give me the worst tickets currently available, in the hopes that handsomer or richer or otherwise better patrons might want the good seats. Okay, I could see saving a few seats near the front in the hopes that royalty might attend.

But, this season, they haven't been as full as in past years, and it is becoming more and more clear that They Do Not Love Us. Or, at least, they feel no inclination to sell us seats that do not suggest that they were really really hoping for better patrons, that they could offer the nice seats to.

Here. I have drawn the audience from tonight. The rest of the audience is the red dots. The grey is where nobody was sitting. We are the green dots.

Do you see how I might feel a little... marginalized? Perhaps they think I should be grateful that we were not in the far corner...

And yes, Tom, I know we're allowed to move after they shut the door (not that you can see the door in the Zero Arrow), but when I sit down, I want to take off my coat and hat and start reading the program and settle in - I don't want to be on hold, ready to spring for the prey of a better seat.

The play? Oh, yes. I actually liked the play, Trojan Barbie. I think it's my favorite of the ART this season, actually. It deserved a lot better than to have me sulking about the fact that their box office hates me. I found it funny in places, and disturbing in places, and somewhat inexplicable, but not annoyingly so, and both very human and very archtypal. And yes, there was a lot of writhing on the floor.
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