It’s Friday the 13th! In keeping with the superstitious day we have a special blog post devoted to some of the common theatre superstitions. Please feel free to comment with any others.
1. Ghostly Light – There should always be a light burning in an empty theater to ward off ghosts.
You might find this odd, but we actually have a ghostly light on at all times at Chandler Center for the Arts. Although we might not be warding off any spirits per say, the light lends itself as a safety precaution. The theatre is extremely dark when all the lights go out and you never know what or who you might bump into. Spooky!
2. Wishing someone “Good Luck” – To wish someone ‘Good luck’ before a show is bad luck.
This common known superstition has been around for numerous years. Before any show starts, you will never hear the words “Good Luck.” Instead we always say “break a leg.”
3. Hauntings – Ghosts haunt theaters and should be given one night a week alone on the stage.
According to Listverse “To keep the ghosts of the theater subdued, there should be at least one night a week where the theater is empty, this night is traditionally a Monday night, conveniently giving actors a day off after weekend performances.” Our ghost, Dungee, (conveniently named by our Youth Advisory Council) may not necessarily need a night to himself on stage since he causes most of the mischief in the basement of the theatre, but we aren’t taking any chances.
4. Whistling – It is considered bad luck for an actor to whistle on or off stage.
Back in the day, original stage crews were hired from ships in port. Like on the ship, the crew used coded whistles to communicate scene changes. Actors who whistled would confuse them into changing the set or scenery.
5. The Last Line – Saying the last line of a play without an audience is considered bad luck.
Since the show is not really complete until performed for the first time, one should never say the last line of a play during dress rehearsal.To get around this, some production companies allow a limited number of people to attend the dress rehearsals.
6. The Scottish play (Macbeth) – Saying the word ‘Macbeth’ in a theater will result in extreme bad luck.
If you have ever performed a play on stage chances are you have heard this superstition. Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, is said to be cursed, so actors avoid saying its name. Outside a theatre and after a performance the play can be spoken of openly. However, if an actor speaks the name “Macbeth” in the theatre prior to a performance, he or she is required to leave the theatre building, spin around three times, spit, curse, and then knock to be allowed back in. Don’t mess around with this one…
Now whether you are a superstitious person or not, us theatre folk are not taking any chances. Happy Friday the 13th!
It isn’t all about being funny! It’s a learning experience!
Actress and Comedian, Kristen Wiig, from shows such as SNL and movies like Bridesmaids, stated, “With improv, it’s a combination of listening and not trying to be funny.”
Improv is known throughout theatre for its use in comical performances. Although that statement is true, improv is much more. Improv is about responding to action and ideas quickly and cleverly on the spot. Improv emulates the idea of flow; which is about motivation, imagination and spontaneity. Flow is keeping the conversation alive, staying involved and knowing how to grasp a concept and create new ideas that help expand them.
This summer season, Chandler Center for the Art’s is offering our first ever Improv Intensive just for teens. This course will not only give teens the opportunity to learn how to present humor to an audience, but they will also gain the knowledge to improve their listening and responding skills to verbal and nonverbal cues. The material covered throughout the week will be a key factor in enhancing future experience in the academic and professional world.
Actor, Nathan Fillion, who has been in films such as Saving Private Ryan and also the voices for characters in Monsters University and the Halo video games said, “Improv as an actor makes you present in the moment. You listen, you’re attentive. You’re not acting so much as reacting, which is what you’re doing in life all the time.”
Come and join the fun with your fellow peers in enjoying the art of theatre and performance! Learn more about Improv Intensive here.
This week has been in the fast lane. Can you believe it’s almost the weekend? Neither can we, but boy are we excited. This weekend we have some great events in store for you.
First, on Saturday we will welcome Cesar Millan to our stage. Cesar will share his secrets on how to transform dogs and their owners for the better. Fans and dog lovers alike will be inspired by the simplicity of “Cesar’s Way” as he reveals that the secret to happier, healthier relationships between humans and their canine companions starts with transforming ourselves.
The following day, Sunday, prepare to be swept back in time to the Wild West. The great Wyatt Earp will share the story of “The Doc Holliday.” This is the story of the West’s most famous dentist. The setting is in a Denver Colorado jail cell, where Bat Masterson and Governor Frederick W. Pitkin have put Doc in protective custody for a few hours. This is after Doc and the Earps have left Arizona for Colorado. Unfortunately, for Doc, a few hours have turned into a few days. To say the least, Doc is not very happy about this. Out of boredom and frustration, Doc begins bantering with the other prisoners. You, the audience, are the other prisoners. Throughout the play you will hear the story of the man who went from, as Doc likes to put it, ‘from one who heals to one who keals’ (kills). Purchase your tickets here.
And since we are beyond excited for the following weekend, below is a quick peek at the Golden Dragon Acrobats coming to the Arts Center on February 2. The Golden Dragon Acrobats bring the best of a 2,500 year old tradition into the 21st century with stunning feats of acrobatic ability. Your jaw will drop. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.