Posts Tagged play

The Intersection of Theater, Professional Wrestling, and Life

Woolly Mammoth Theater Company

Woolly Mammoth Theater Company is constantly pushing boundaries to defy convention

Years ago, I started volunteering at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company as an usher.  I had seen a few of their plays and was mesmerized.  I wanted to see them all!

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I’m into theater.  I even saw 6 plays last summer while I was traveling around the world with Mr. HalfFull on our 30/40 World Tour.

This summer, I joined Woolly’s Claque.  You may be asking, “What the heck is a claque?”  In classical times, a claque was a group of people hired to applaud the performers in French theaters and opera houses.  But our claque at Woolly is so much more.  First of all, we are unpaid volunteers.  Secondly, we are a group of highly engaged audience members who do more than applaud at the actual performance.  Before the first rehearsal, we spend time reading the play together as a group, discuss the themes of the play, and communicate our ideas for audience design.  We are also involved in Working Groups specific to each play.

Mace & Chad Diety

Mace, the main character, speaks as Chad Diety, a fellow wrestler in THE Wrestling, shows of his winning smile and championship belt.

This season, my Working Group was focused on the season opener, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety.  The show focuses on the world of professional wrestling, but it’s about so much more.  I have no interest in wrestling, and would never watch it on TV.  But this play moved me.  In fact, I got chills when the main character delivered his final monologue in Act II on Opening Night.

Please visit the Woolly Mammoth Blog to read my post about The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety.  Find out how this play relates to the rest of us who are not wrestling fans.

  • Do you enjoy live theater?
  • Do you watch professional wrestling?
  • Have you ever been surprisingly moved by a play, movie, book, etc. when the original topic was unappealing?
Ms. HalfEmpty is a 30-something introverted realist, perhaps a pessimist. But she’s trying to see the world half full on halfempty4now.com, which she started in February 2011. Her worldview may not be all bad, as it probably helps keep her husband, Mr. HalfFull, grounded and out of trouble!

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Adventures in Aussie Art

Cow in Tree

I think this upside-down cow in the tree is supposed to be art, but I'm not sure.


Melbourne is a bit of an eclectic town.  Whereas Sydney seems more business-like with pinstripe suits in abundance, Melbourne is for artists in jeans.

We saw some strange stuff in Melbourne.  I think they call it art.  For example, take the upside-down cow in the tree along the waterfront.

Dinosaur in Melbourne

Ms. HalfEmpty is attacked by a dinosaur on the mean streets of Melbourne.

We also encountered a dinosaur in this area.  I was a bit scared.  But I really should have been quite well prepared for this.

Do you remember when Mr. HalfFull and I almost visited Natural Bridge in Virginia?  (We didn’t make it past the Visitor Center, but that’s another story.)  We also saw an open-mouthed dinosaur there.  But that one seemed slightly more tame since it was ridden by a cowboy.

Come to think of it, we also saw a dinosaur in Sydney.  But this one was next to a welcome sign.  So the juxtaposition of the fangs and the welcome sign made it seem slightly less menacing.

Dinosaur in Sydney

Mr. HalfFull welcomed by a dinosaur in Sydney

I guess the fear appeal of dinosaurs is rather universal.

Okay, back to Melbourne.  This city is full of artsy people, including musicians.  We saw tons of advertisements for local bands.  I think you could see live music every night of the week!

While we were in town, so was the AC/DC musical.  Mr. HalfFull is a fan and convinced me this would be another fun theatrical experience to add to our 30/40 World Tour theater count.  Even though this was our seventh play of the 30/40 World Tour, it would be our first musical.

Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be Poster

Show poster that lured Mr. HalfFull

Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be — The Story of Bon Scott is advertised as a musical.  But to me it was more like a rock concert scattered with flecks of narration.  The “play” chronicled Bon Scott’s life from Scotland to Australia.  This included his bands before AC/DC, most of which I had never heard of.  The early music was unfamiliar to me, but I did know most of the AC/DC songs.  The majority of the audience was older and probably remembered Bon Scott from their rock n’ roll party days.

I am keenly aware of kinesthetics and pay particular attention to how actors and musicians move.  The guys on stage moved well and seemed very comfortable as musicians since they are rockers in real life.  However, the lead who played Bon Scott was a bit awkward in his movements.  But I guess he was attractive enough to make up for it.

Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be show

The rock concert part of the "play" (Credit: Marty Williams)

I was disappointed because I was expecting a play, not a rock concert.  When the focus is on the music, rather than acting and choreography, I don’t find it very visually interesting.  I’m not opposed to concerts, they just aren’t as appealing to me.

I think the rest of the audience knew what to expect.  They were completely into the music from their heyday.  They were reliving their youth — alcohol and tattoos in abundance.  They probably felt the opposite of me and could have done without the narration!

Our final day in Australia was spent experiencing the artsy side of Melbourne — cow, dinosaur, and play rock concert included.  Stay tuned for our adventures in Mauritius next.

  • What art has caught your eye abroad?
  • Have you noticed an abundance of dinosaurs while traveling?
  • Do you prefer straight plays or musicals?  
  • Would you enjoy a narrated rock concert?  
  • Do you prefer theater or concerts?  Do you think it’s because you are more visual or auditory?

All posts in the 30/40 World Tour series

Ms. HalfEmpty is a 30-something introverted realist, perhaps a pessimist. But she’s trying to see the world half full on halfempty4now.com, which she started in February 2011. Her worldview may not be all bad, as it probably helps keep her husband, Mr. HalfFull, grounded and out of trouble!

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