A few years ago I was invited to serve on a panel for a major foundation. To begin the meeting, the facilitator asked the dozen of us at the table to write down the name of a performance we’d seen in the past five years that had reached us in the moment and stayed with us over time. We were a diverse group of arts professionals from all over the country, we came from different disciplines and backgrounds, and very likely all of us saw more than 100 performances a year all over the globe. So, that’s a universe of more than 5,000 possible shows between us. When we revealed the performances we’d each written down, five of us had written the same title: Kiss & Cry, the first piece created by the company joining us in the Cutler Majestic later this month for another wondrous show they’ve created entitled Cold Blood.
The facilitator had never experienced such a high incidence of one title recurring in this exercise. As we discussed why we’d chosen it, each of us kept coming back to the profound
sense of our own humanity it had triggered in us. And this from a piece that was created with a mix of childrenʼs toys, high-definition technology, a whimsical and beautiful choreography of
hands, and a simple storyline. We had experienced wonder, and beauty, and sadness, and joy. We’d wept, we’d loved, we’d convulsed in laughter, we’d gaped in awe. And we’d done it in a community of strangers each sharing the same roller-coaster ride of emotions.
Researchers have recently determined that live performance can actually synchronize the heartbeats of the audience. Talk about a shared experience! And what a powerful confirmation of the capacity of art to connect all of us across our differences. I hope you’ll feel that connection at this show. If you do, perhaps you’ll share a bit about your experience with someone you don’t yet know in the audience. You have more in common with each other than you imagine.
Cold Blood runs in the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre MAY 30 – JUN 3, 2018. Get tickets!