Heading out to dinner and then watching a play or musical is almost always an entertaining way to spend an evening. If you’ve visited your local venue numerous times, however, you may be hoping to make the event feel more innovative and fresh. Consider making your next trip to the theater a novel one by trying a different place to experience a performance.
Experience a play that puts you right in the middle of the action. Interactive theater that selects audience members to participate in the play, Pinellas County Florida theater train and improvisational shows that solicit audience suggestions, for instance, are definitely out-of-the-box experiences. Most venues also serve dinner during the performance so you can enjoy a delicious meal while you’re immersed in the story.
In the Round
Rather than watch the play on a large stage with performers and props waiting in the wings, visit a theater in the round for a clever staging experience. With seats surrounding a small platform in the center, most productions feature minimal props or interesting ways to move certain pieces in and out of sight. The actors will often exit scenes through the audience and move about more freely when speaking so their backs aren’t always to the same side of the house.
For a fresh take on well-known plays, consider seeing a production at a local high school, community center or college. The amateur theater often features cleverly-designed backdrops, costumes and props, while the actors bring an eager exuberance to their performances. These venues also have the benefit of tickets at a fraction of the cost of their professional counterparts.
If you’re in the mood for a more intimate event, try a “black box” performance, so named because the plays take place in a single room, often with walls that have been painted black so they won’t detract from the actors. This experimental theater often features single-actor productions, avant-garde titles or even interactive experiences.
In spring and summer, consider watching a production in an open-air venue. In addition to outdoor theaters, you can find plays performed in parks, amphitheaters and arboretums. Bear in mind, however, that these shows may be canceled last-minute if inclement weather strikes.
Visiting a new performance space the next time you want to watch a play can help you see a production in a new light. You may also discover a new favorite title, actor, troupe or venue in the process.