Excellent Old Globe Production of "The Last Match" and Why the Young are Missing in the Audience
March 2, 2016
This play certainly reached out deep into my soul. 95 minutes without an intermission and I want to sit on and watch some more! The Old Globe Theatre production of an excellent play by Anna Ziegler "The Last Match", directed by Ms. Upchurch, achieved all what a good theatre is hoping for: to inspire, provoke, connect, enlighten and entertain well.
There are two excellent tennis players on the court for an important match.: One of the two characters is older, accomplished, milder and on his way to retire, so it is his last match. The other is young, talented, seemingly arrogant and on his way up. (Two of the four characters are Russians and their Russian soul is very well expressed, precise in their sensitivities.) The play invites you to peek into each of the player's mind in an insightful elaborate yet approachable and funny way that you are changing your judgment of the protagonists as their stories are unwinding. You realize how quickly we sometimes judge by not knowing what is making people into what they are. The story leads us toward compassion, understanding and it makes us reevaluate. I appreciate this very power of the theatre or literature that may help us understand our world better and helps us becoming more sensitive and accepting. Many times we find ourselves in the stories and thus we are asured we are not alone in the world with whatever we stuck with.
Sitting in the audience l laugh, I cry, I feel compassion, anger, joy, and I fee
connected. To feel connected is the most important aspect of culture, the generous gift of understanding life through stories, contributes tremendously toward our imperfect yet beautiful "humanity".
And so as I am leaving the theatre inspired and happy , I am celebrating the fact that my education & my culture helped me find passion for the theatre so I can experience the feeling of being connected to the world through the stories of others.
There was only one thing that I missed that evening and many other cultural evenings: Young people in the audience. I looked around and saw probably less than 10 young people (not to boast but I brought them!). Sad realization that culture is not becoming an inseparable, indispensable part of young people lives. If parents do not cultivate culturally their children, school does not certainly prepare them for that task. Students are not prompt to explore cultural happenings and not shown in the classrooms often enough how art is our extension, how by attending a play we develop sensitivities, tolerance, solidarity, and compassion.
Humanities took a back seat in the American world and its education. Yet, the discipline is called humanities for a reason. Let us make sure that we will not become less of what the word conceals.
Bring your nephew, neighbor, friend, son, mother, lover or farther to the theatre next time, you will not regret!!