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      WE'RE ALL IN THE MOOD FOR A MELODY by Thomas Putnam

      b 10 21Do you recognize that line? From which song? Who sang it? I happened to hear it the other day and besides taking me back a few years, these words jumped out at me. “We're all in the mood for a melody.” A melody, a simple succession of notes that somehow fit together as a satisfying whole. Since my mind is filled with all things “Zoomed Stage Readings” especially the first one on Saturday at 7:30 and Sunday at 2:30, this line “we're all in the mood for a melody” applied directly to this project.

      I have a friend who just can't embrace our plan to zoom recorded staged readings. “It's NOT THEATRE!” he shouted at me yesterday. “Everyone is tired of zoom, and if there can't be an audience, no matter how small, breathing in the same room, it is just NOT THEATRE!” 

      I agree with him. But as good politician know and as we're all learning so clearly these last 12 months, compromise is the stuff that gets us through life. I admire the convictions of purists, but to really move forward I think there needs to be room for letting go a bit and not digging feet into the sand. I tried to reason with my friend that though I agree—and probably couldn't agree more after these 12 months—that we are desperately missing a live audience—that our plan for these next eight weekends is a good hybrid. We're recording a script in a theatre and then playing it on two zoom meetings and the audience, though not breathing in the same room, will at least have the opportunity to talk in the same zoom/room and we will be able to hear each other—if not share each other's breath. Talk-backs, response, voices heard.

      This first one we're zooming tomorrow night may seem like it's made up of distinct, separate notes. But it's a melody. Rich Orloff's poems. He wrote 60; we're presenting 26 of them. And they flow like a melody. They all fit together into a satisfying whole. It's good stuff, and I hope my aforementioned friend will break down and listen in and breathe and feel as if in some way he's breathing in the same room. He's in the mood for a melody, too.

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