Off Broadway

As a plebe (freshman) at Annapolis, I loved the several opportunities to escape the confines of our pressure cooker environment by taking group trips to watch Broadway plays at the Kennedy Center and the Arena Stage. The half-price tickets were just cheap enough to make it affordable for me, but now, decades later, and living, once again, close to Washington, D.C., I am not able to afford such venues. Back in the '70's, I realized that I was living the dream and that life after the Academy wouldn't afford the same privileges. Being priced out of today's Broadway shows is, therefore, no great surprise.
Photo by Flipsy
Any latent disappointment over the loss of those glory days was erased Saturday night when my wife and I took in our first play performed at the New Direction Community Theater. Lacking only the grandeur and amenities of metropolitan playhouses, but not the acting quality or set realism, this community theater brought me as much of an escape from my work-a-day existence as those that draw audiences by the hundreds. It also costs less than I paid 40 years ago to watch professional acting.

I like the name "New Direction," because it implies to me the change in lifestyle we will all soon experience to some degree, i.e. valuing local community activity more than cosmopolitan pretense. Another difference is that, as part of a small audience, you become a bigger factor in the play's success by your attentiveness, reactions, and applause than when there is a larger audience to carry things along. You also are more likely to get to know the performers and crew, especially if you attend frequently. You will certainly get a seat closer to the action.

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