Reading Plays as a Young Teenager

I was recalling my early days in high school, when I had first discovered the world of the theatre. After being in a play, I had learned to how to really read scripts, and to understand the way they were used. So it was an easy next step to begin reading plays, all the plays that I would never actually see performed – all the Synge, the Williams, Strindberg, Ibsen, Shaw, the basic theatre repertoire, I suppose. Arsenic and Old Lace, The Importance of Being Earnest. And because I thought it was groovy to be weird, all the existentialist plays, the Genet and Sartre. And that led to the theatre of the absurd, Ionesco, all fragments. And of course, Beckett. Not sure what I made of it all then, in those early days of youth; imagining them being performed, staged, made flesh from the words on page. I was hungry for the ideas, for the meaning, for the world that could exist outside my own limitations. I thought they had the understanding I was looking for. I had no idea these were written as means toward understanding, as expressions of seeking, not always finding. But I did get to see some of them performed. I volunteered as an usher for any and all performances of local theatre companies. My bedroom walls were covered in posters for plays. I imagine this early interest then morphed into video, media, communication. It was, in a way, directive, and one of my foundations.

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