Farewell Friends, Parents, and my Country; thou Dear Play-house, and sweet Park, Farewell.
—Buckle, The Gaming Table
It’s hard to believe we have just closed The Gaming Table. It simultaneously seems like just yesterday we were sitting around a table at the Folger hearing the play read for the first time, and also like it was five years ago.
And it is, admittedly, sad to see this show go.
Souvenirs were taken, as well as tearful goodbyes. It was a rare experience of discovery and antiquity with a truly amazing team that felt like family. However, Theatre, by its very nature, is a purely ephemeral art form. Unlike a painting whose brushstrokes will dry to be admired for years to come, or even a piece of music that can be played again and again at the same tempo with the same dynamics—the theatre is sewn together by a thousand tiny life cycles—from the singular breadth and breath of a scene on stage, to the rise and fall of each individual show, to the birth and passing of each production, even the art form itself seems to be constantly cycling through a healthy burn of sorts, sometimes fat, sometimes fallow and threatening extinction only to rise from its own ashes. Yes. I suppose it is an anomalous kind of clay that theatre makers sculpt with, but one that is fundamentally human. Therefore, it seems somehow silly to mourn the passing of a show (even one as unique and fulfilling as The Gaming Table) because the very thing that allows this art to be so dynamically beautiful, genuinely funny or uniquely powerful is the fact that it is a living thing, built on shared breath, that will inevitably pass away.
All that being said, I can’t help but mourn the passing of this one just a little.
Thank you for allowing me to share moments of my experience with you. ‘Till next time, whenever that may be…