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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

At Long Play Club, Mary-Louise Parker, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jessica Raine on live theater

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What a joy to have her onstage! In this exclusive video, actors Jessica Raine, Mary-Louise Parker, and Parker discuss the joy of live theater. You can also watch the entire episode, which takes place after a performance of Porgy and Bess.

Live theater, at least as it played out in the old world, was always live. At the beginning of the 18th century, Englishmen walked out in order to have fresh air, the cleansing benefit of sawdust, and a chance to compare notes on the show that just started. The same would be true as Charles Dickens pushed his horse as a commedia dell’arte troupe would push a half- eaten goose.

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Though audiences usually had to wait at least a week between performances of any given show, it was these long breaks between musicals and comedies that allowed the actors to get themselves into form. Which is why it has been so hard to convince writers, directors, and designers to make their shows live again.

Some of the most adventurous of the 50 or so new theaters that opened on Broadway last season are employing technology to try to preserve the way the human heart makes these plays.

To learn more about live theater, a performance of Terrence McNally’s Mothers and Sons, and the history of the show in question, watch this episode of the Long Play Club:

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