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For These Shows, Take a Hike

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For These Shows, Take a Hike

There’s a moment late in “Cairns,” a lovely, peaceable sound walk created by the singer and scholar Gelsey Bell and presented by Here, in which Bell will ask you to do something drastic: Take out your earbuds. Maybe that doesn’t seem so extreme, but when was the last time you put away your phone, shut your eyes, stilled the mental whirl of worries, statistics and undone errands, and just listened?

People who have tired of Zoom plays (don’t raise your hands all at once, please!), will welcome the opportunity to listen — outdoors and screen-free. After all, if a sound walk doesn’t get you into the theater, at least it gets you out of the house.

Promenade plays, in which audience members walk from physically distanced scene to physically distanced scene, have become a mainstay of pandemic theater. In “Cairns” and “Intralia, the Weird Park,” another recent audio play, you still walk — for miles — but the scenes are staged in your mind’s eye and mind’s ear only. These are participatory shows, but in a solitary and covert way that seems like some kind of theatrical koan. If you participate and no one is there to applaud, does it even count? I’d argue that it does. Or at least that it can.

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What do you think?

Written by ATN

https://www.extremetech.com/

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