My Return To Theatre Macabre – A Second Trip Review
Last night, I returned to try to uncover more secrets of Theatre Macabre. The return visit left my head spinning. When I got home, I couldn’t and didn’t sleep because I kept thinking about all the things I witnessed, the conversations I had, and the alliances I may have made and/or ruined. My brain feels like it turned into runny scrambled eggs and I can’t think of any clear or coherent thoughts except knowing that I want to go back for another visit.
Usually when you go to something for a second time, you mentally prepare yourself for what you think you will see or what you think will happen. You’ll base it on your first time and then plan around it. Nothing could have prepared me for my second trip to the Theatre. My expectations of what I thought would happen or what I thought I could effect was just a silly dream. As soon as I walked in, everything I thought that was going to happen was blown out of the water and I was left alone, back at square one, with a confused look on my face wondering how I could start my path.
What followed were new interactions, new faces I hadn’t seen in my previous trip, and new areas to explore that I didn’t even know existed. I didn’t see or experience much of what I had experienced my first time through. I did see some familiar faces from my first trip and those familiar, and sometimes friendly, faces put me at ease (or lulled me into a false sense of security). These faces helped give me the courage to become more bold, and at times, aggressive, with my trip. They helped me speak my mind. They helped me be present. They helped me do and say what I wanted.
This was a new, eye opening, experience. They kept it fresh with new storylines and new secrets to uncover. Then again, maybe I’m just being ignorant and those things were there all along and I’m just now discovering them. There in lies the beauty of this production. I don’t know whether I stumbled upon something that’s always been there or something new that may have just happened in that moment. I don’t know whether I was on a track or not. I don’t know if anything went “according to plan”…and I don’t want to. That’s what keeps the mystery alive. It’s what keeps that thrill of feeling that you can change the story. I don’t want to know if what I saw was part of a track because in my mind, my path is my own and my choices dictated my path. If storytelling was personified, then these writers are some of the greatest magicians in the world. Even though you see the trick right in front of you, sometimes you’re too amazed to want to know how it’s done and you want to keep the child-like amazement and feeling of mystery for as long as you can.
I did feel that at certain times throughout the night, I DID change the story. This was more than me answering a question with a “yes” or “no”. I felt like I had convinced someone to do something by bringing it up and then running with it. It did not feel pre-planned. It did not feel like a track. It felt like a real life, on the spot decision was made. From that point on, we created a plan and stuck to it. I did things as part of this plan that probably confused the rest of my group and possibly even some of the theatre workers. On top of this, there were a couple more things that had happened that did not feel pre-planned. It felt like a real situation that I may had stumbled upon…or was purposely shown. The storytellers are masters of this. They keep you guessing at what was planned versus what wasn’t. Of course, this is never thought about while it’s happening. Only once you’re outside, collecting your thoughts, and realizing what you experienced that you start to wonder how/why/when things may have changed for you. Was it something you did? Something you said? You will never know, and that seamlessness between show and reality is what makes this so special and incredible.
As with my first time through, I didn’t feel as if I was on any sort of track and it’s such a magical feeling. My first time through felt guided at times, but last night, all bets were off. I felt like I was a part of something bigger. I felt like I was at the theatre and was able to witness things that I shouldn’t have. Why did I have this feeling? It’s possible that the people inside knew I was “one of them” and trusted me. Or maybe they pitied me for being dumb enough to come back a second time. Either way, the interactions I had not only pulled me deeper into this world, but also made me want to be a part of it more than ever.
This is a living and breathing piece of art. Time does not stop inside the walls and it’s not the same cookie cutter show for each performance. The story is constantly changing and evolving…much life real life. The people inside the walls are not stuck to a script saying the same things at the same times and doing the same things at the same times. This is an evolution of the art. We are free to roam and speak and say whatever we want to whomever we want. The actors are as well, which turns this from mere entertainment to an actual lifestyle of sorts. This is the next level and I can’t wait to see how much further this can be pushed.
As of now, Theatre Macabre is only open for two more weeks. I am hoping the theatre gods are smiling down on this and are able to grant an extension. This has a place here. This needs to be here. This is too important to only have a short run. However, if the theatre does close its doors, I am thankful for finding myself inside it while it lasted and I have no regrets about any of the things I’ve done inside.