Last night we were supposed to have a sold-out house but a whole bus-full of people failed to show up : /
There was some frantic energy about having the theater packed; Teri and I were looking forward to seeing how it would affect the show - the actors knowing so many people had come to see them, making them nervous or excited, and how the fullness of the place might make an audience more... receptive? open? eager? I don't know. For some reason, I feel that the more people there are, the more hustle and bustle, the more chance for a communal feeling and chain reactions of reactions of reactions.
But as a I said, the bus didn't show up. It was carrying a bunch of alumni, apparently. Who knows what happened. I guess plans fell through or something and they missed out. Hopefully they're okay.
The thing is... the directors and writers' seats were sold, and we moved black chairs up in the cat walks anticipating their arrival. They had the first two rows of seats reserved, though, and so when the show finally started there was this huge gap that sort of gave this weird feeling of emptiness and uncertainty. The audience was very quiet, and it noticeably affected the actors' energy. I wish I had been able to slip backstage and readjust my actors' expectations and to tell them to just have fun and punch up the energy and volume as much as they could. That's what should happen every night, but I guess last night threw them off. They expected to come out to a full, engaged room, and instead found the opposite of that. I was told they lost focus and felt anxious, especially considering they had such a good show and audience interaction the previous night. It's been a long run for them with only one day of no rehearsal or a show for almost two weeks now, but we're coming to a close now and we want to go out with a bang. Looking forward to see what happens tonight!