November 2020 update on live performances and events at the NAC.

Dear you,

© Julie Charland

Dear You,

I’ve been thinking about the last time we saw each other at the theatre. When was that, do you remember? Do you remember the show you came to see that day? Perhaps you’ve carefully preserved an image or sound from that experience in your memory.

Close your eyes and see.

Try to be quiet inside.

What’s taking shape under your eyelids?

Do you hear something crackling in the hollow of your ear?

Don’t worry if nothing pops up immediately. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you think you’ve forgotten everything, that you can’t remember a thing. We tell ourselves that the show has just gone up in smoke, that’s all. But I have the feeling that on the contrary, it never really disappears; that it survives longer than we imagine in a fold of our memories, sometimes well hidden. Then, without warning, bam, bits and pieces resurface. It can happen anywhere, anytime: walking down the street, talking with friends, lying flat on your back in bed in the middle of the afternoon, maybe even sleeping at night. It takes almost nothing to get the fire going again. All it takes is a tiny spark, and bits of that show we once saw in a dark room light up in a corner of our minds. They burst, they pop, then they start to stir and come together again. In their own way, these fragments of words, images, and feelings stitch together another show, a little different from the one you saw, and that is undoubtedly proof that it has blended with who you are, that it’s a little part of you now.

I think I remember very well the last time we saw each other. I’m pretty sure it was you, that you were there. In any case, there were a lot of you, buzzing around in the space like a happy little swarm. It was during a big sound party. And like a current, the music carried us from room to room, from show to show. Whenever I could, I watched your faces out of the corner of my eye; I observed your reactions. I saw you amazed, wide-eyed, engaged, perceptive, moved, captivated, moving to the beat, and sometimes confused. Each of you absorbed the shows at your own pace. You found your path through the shared experience in a beautiful and unpredictable way. Moments like that—seeing you thinking, watching, exclaiming, reacting to what’s happening on stage—I’ve accumulated tons of them since I’ve known you. I’d even go so far as to say that your listening, your amazement, are inseparable from many of my memories of shows. And I often replay those memories, as you would a movie or song you love because it connects with a precious part of you.

I’ve been thinking it’s been too long since we saw each other. The months go by and I wonder how you’re doing. What do you do all day? What do you think about? Maybe you think about theatre, as I do. But maybe not, either. That’s OK; I know it’s in there somewhere, hiding in a fold, ready to bounce back. It’s the same with theatre: it’s there, a little in the background, it’s true, but sooner or later it’s going to come back. To surprise you, challenge you, open your heart, and above all, bring us together again.

See you soon, I hope.

Mélanie

P.S. If you feel like it, you can write to me too, give me your news, share a memory of a show or send me a drawing. I accept EVERYTHING.


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