The orchestra pit is one of the oldest and flimsiest theatre institutions. An underground stable of men and women with bowties and puffy shirts, stealing the attention away from the actors onstage and keeping us from moving forward into the 21st century. In this day and age, audiences are looking for something more interactive in the theatre, bolder and more inspired. It is time to replace that wasted space underneath the stage with something new...
by Matt G. of Matt and Kyle and Matt
1. A Dungeon.
Get rid of the musicians, their instruments, their stands and replace them with stones, shackles, rats and skeletons. If an audience member comes in late to a performance or if someone’s phone goes off, the usher will then escort that person into the dungeon for the rest of the show. There, they will be forced to watch the show through the floorboards while being flogged for their wicked crimes.
2. An Abyss.
Of course, constructing a giant chasm beneath the stage would compromise the structure’s integrity, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. Something has been missing from the theatre for a long time, and that something is a sense of danger and a giant black hole.
Because flowers would be really pretty.
4. The Basement.
Occupy the pit with actors that inhabit the world underneath the characters onstage, whether it’s the central characters’ basement, or maybe the sewer beneath the city street where the story takes place. If the play is set in apartment 5B, why not have the pit be apartment 4B?
An orchestra pit with talented musicians is boring and overdone, but replace those musicians with musically trained monkeys and you’ve suddenly resuscitated theatre back to life.