Sunday, July 26, 2015

To Theater or not to Theater...

photo © Mark Butkus 2010
Red, red rows...

It's not a question of
Whether I go to the theater or not.
It's a matter of access.

I don't know what I will want to see
Or when I will want to see it
As I can't anticipate
My moods. My desires.
Or even my whims.

But live theater exists Here.
It's vibrant! It's alive!
And like the people of this City
It comes in all shapes and sizes.

We could go to the Theater District,
Attend a big budget show
Under a sponsored marquee
With flashing bulbs of light and tubes of neon

We can dress to the nines
Pay for a babysitter
And make a night of it.
Dinner before the show.
Drinks after the curtain.

Or we can check out something
In a coffee shop Nearby.
Where they pass the hat around
Between acts, between performers.

You see, I need to know
That live theater is at hand.
At my fingertips.
Within my grasp.

Whether I attend often or not
Is of little concern.
The mere presence of live theater comforts me.
It speaks to my soul.

Theater speaks to the soul of a Community
You depend upon it being There.
This City provides an endless supply
Of live theater adrenaline rushes
For someone needing a fix.

You just don't find that kind of diversity
That kind of energy
Upstate, downstate or in the burbs
You only find it here,
In the City.

And that is why
I can never leave the City.
I need the constant reassurance
That options exist.
That live theater exists.

What do you want to do tonight?


— Mark Butkus


To Theater or not to Theater... first appeared online in El BeiSMan on February 1, 2015.