While prepping for this year’s Playroom (in the Master Bedroom!), I found myself out one afternoon to paper the neighborhood in posters for the show. As I returned to our humble little storefront pop-up at the Gateway Shopping Center, a summer rain was coming through Kingston. I put the key in the door and dropped off the remaining posters inside, and noticed a brick red Buick pull to a stop in the fire lane, and the woman inside peering through the driver-side window to our space, then down to a piece of looseleaf in her lap. Her look kept alternating between the large banner for Playroom and her paper – she was writing down the show information. I felt elated.
“This is how you win ‘em over with theatre” I said to myself. I remembered the postcard versions of the poster, and snatched one up to deliver to the woman in her car. She took the card through the sliver she opened at the top of the window. “That’s all the info you’d need to see the show”, I smiled at her.
“It looks shady!” she yelled through the white noise of the rain.
“Shady?” I asked.
“Well, there’s a picture of a bedroom on it!”
I chuckled, my smile constant, and started my quick show pitch (perfected from an afternoon of poster pushing): “Well, these are one act plays. I assure you they are on the up and up. Nothing shady here. This is our 4th year with this series. This year, they happen to take place in a bedroo-”
She cut me off. “It’s getting wet!”
She quickly closed up the millimeters of open window and eyed me. I smiled and waved as she sped off in the rain.
On the drive home, I was confused. I struggled to remember what decade I was in. I grew up in this area, and it never occurred to me that a picture of a bedroom (let alone one that looked like a screenshot from a Nintendo game) would strike someone as scandalous.
Did this woman write down the address, hours, and contact information of the Sleepy’s Mattress store in the same plaza? Did she send hate mail to Pottery Barn, Better Homes and Gardens, and the literally dozens of local department stores with bedroom displays? Would she suffer a mental breakdown in an IKEA?
Would she come to see the plays? Or would she decry them in a local “letter to the editor”? What would she think about the play or two that get a little blue?
I hope she does make it out to one of the performances.
If you happen to be a mature theatre-goer, you come too.