Inadvertent drama is happening all around us. The following are five “shows” I’ve suddenly found myself thrust into as a reluctant, yet eventually fascinated and riveted, audience member.
by Matt Raudsepp of Matt and Kyle and Matt
3am drunks outside my apartment window
I live above a restaurant that is, I kid you not, open until 5am on Friday and Saturday nights. My bedroom window is directly above the front entrance. Just about every week, travelling players arrive around 3am and craft fabulous stories of lust and heartbreak, strange cab drivers, and dumb shows of dry heaving or full blown vomiting. My absolute favourite inadvertent play I witnessed was an altercation between two archetypal “tough guys”. An excellent rising action of racial slurs built to a climax of street brawling that resolved itself through tears and the final line “Bros before hoes.”
The dog park
There’s an old theatre rule stating that if an actor has attention issues they should never perform with children or dogs. Well, remove the actors entirely, throw ten to twenty dogs into a chain link enclosure, and you’ve got yourself theatre. It’s hilarious. The cast of characters is so broad and diverse – and costumed by their natural breeding. Dogs make the most extreme entrances at the oddest of times directly into other dog’s business (sometimes literally). Ever see two dogs try to upstage each other? Yes, that’s all they know how to do. One con: audience members are expected to pick up the poop.
Neighbours through windows at night
I’ve always dreamed of seeing some X-rated shows this way, but it hasn’t happened yet. I’ve witnessed kitchen food prep, typing at a computer for hours upon hours, and a mysterious bobbing top-of-the-head through a taller than usual window. The stage is often the most beautiful of the shows on this list. At night, the golden glow from the many windows of a giant apartment building creates multiple vignettes of urban life. Season ticket holders keep coming back hoping to see a nude show, but the great Artistic Director in the Sky is holding out on us…
Greyhound bus into the USA
On a trip to New York City via Greyhound bus I witnessed the story of a woman who chose a seat, left it at a rest stop, returned to find a man sitting in it, demanded it back, ignored by the man until it erupted into a yelling match, and finally ended when the woman chose a separate identical seat. American drama at its finest. The dialogue was short and snappy, the performers well rehearsed (as if they had done this show a thousand times in their lives). The nine hour trip flew by.
If you’ve ever seen a YouTube video, you’ve seen the comment wars that almost always erupt. The trick is to get in early. If you see a popular video (let’s say over one hundred thousand views) and notice a comment about religion… take a seat and hit refresh every minute. Odds are that a very self-involved battle of wits will be born. The tension is high, the stakes are high, the anonymity allows for pure hatred. It’s a fascinating cultural commentary from two diametrically opposed sides each with their own valid arguments (to a point) as they relate to their own personal values and morals. Best part of this show: when the action is dull, throw fuel on the fire, post a comment, and set them off again. You become the playwright!