Deep Blue Scene

We were in a motorboat, on our way to snorkel, when we came upon a pod of dolphins.

The captain stopped the boat so that we could watch them.

A guidebook I’d read had said not to do that, because it terrorized the dolphins. But they didn’t seem terrorized. They stayed near the boat. Had they left, we wouldn’t have chased them.

Todd made fun of me because I said that I thought the dolphins actually liked having us around, that the ocean must be sort of boring for animals so smart.

Water water water water fish water fish water water kelp water water.

Any regular theatergoer knows an entire ecosystem of boredom.

There’s Head-bob Boredom: your chin touches your chest and you snap it back up (“Still awake!”) There’s Anxiety Boredom (“Why is there a bump on my tongue?”) and the always-painful Rictus Boredom: the boredom that requires you to smile because you’re one of twelve people in the audience of your friend’s play.

Which armrest is mine? Count the audience. Cuticle cuticle cuticle cuticle  cuticle cuticle cuticle leave.

Art that takes place over time has an ethical obligation to try to engage its spectators. Boredom is a form of torture. Studies link short-term boredom to anxiety and longterm boredom to clinical depression. I’ve known two people—sensible, strong people, one man and one woman—who’ve told me that when they get really bored they start to cry.

As playwrights, let’s make sure to stop the boat. Let’s fill our plays with story and spectacle and surprises.

Given the option to terrorize the dolphins or bore them to tears, let’s err on the side of fear.

Happy 1016!

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