Into Great Silence
We had a jolly gang on the Everyman bus last night at 8:00, and when it was all over and done with I thought maybe it was a little too jolly-- the bus felt like a Broncos shuttle. We do want everyone to have a good time on the last ride of Everyman's life. The play is actually the opposite of a downer. But this ride is also not like anything else, and we learn as we go. Watching the smiling faces leave the bus last night I realized they had missed out on something: a contemplative experience. Because indeed that is what EVERYMAN ON THE BUS can and should provide. Our ride is chock full of lively scenes, but there are also times when the bus is moving through the dark streets of our town and there is nothing to do but listen to the music, and look out at the window. In silence. The music is varied and intentional, and includes Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Mumford & Sons, Enigma, John Tavener, Gregorian Chant and a few surprises. But the silence matters. Having taken the ride now several times, I can report the most interesting and resonant moments of the entire journey are when nothing is happening, when you are sitting, looking, listening and waiting for the next scene, when you are spending time suspended in between. The easy and natural temptation is to turn on your cell phone, check a few scores, slide into facebook, or chat with your date. But we're finding that these temptations are best resisted. So we are imposing a gentle Order of Silence on our audiences for the remainder of the run, and inviting them to pretend they've entered a Carthusian monastery where they will refrain from conversation for the the 75 minute "service." (Actually, our bus looks surprisingly not unlike the barrel vault nave of a monastic church). We think you will find that your silence is very full, and that you will have even more and better talk afterwards!