when small is the new big

by Elaine

Ryan Kidd & Jack Missett in The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek at MOXIE Theatre

Ryan Kidd & Jack Missett in The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek at MOXIE Theatre. Photo by Daren Scott.

A couple weeks back I took a friend with me to the opening of Allegiance at The Old Globe Theatre (besides being a MOXIE, I manage the Pub at the Globe). She was all atwitter about the night: celebrities, big buck musical, the after-party… it was all in the realm of things she never gets to do. I forget that theatre isn’t a part of everyday life for everyone, though the state of most box office numbers should remind me.

But that’s not my point.

Instead, my point came later, when I brought the same friend to see The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek. I expected her to have a different reaction to the small bit of powerful theatre we’re showing. I expected her to think it less, somehow. Smaller venue, smaller audience, smaller (in terms of notoriety) actors. Instead, she found it to be more. More touching, more personal, more relatable, more present. She was in love.

That? That’s my point.

We forget, in this era of big screen acting and putting such an emphasis on big stage work that small can sometimes be better. We forget how intimate spaces and connection can bring us to a character, a story, a town, a trestle in a way that nothing else can.

See the big stuff, sure. I need someone to sell beer and wine and fancy chocolate to at the Pub. And big can be fun to witness. Celebrities usually become so for a reason and sometimes those big budgets will knock your socks off.

But when it comes down to leaving the theatre awakened, moved and permanently  altered, a small theatre can offer you something the big houses cannot. Anyone want to share what that may be for them?