A Sacred Place

May 22, 2008
By Monica Root, Manheim, PA

A Sacred Place

The solidness of the black stage floor seeped into my bones, making sitting there an uncomfortable art. I shifted from side to side, trying to endure the seemingly pointless lecture that buzzed monotonously through the air. I had long since stopped listening to whatever the teacher was droning on about, as is my involuntary instinct when the subject of a lecture does not interest me. My drama class had taken a break from working on our latest skit, so we had simply sat down where we were, on the stage floor. This surface was not the best for sitting on. I shifted again after another painful minute or two.

As if they were as bored as I was, my eyes decided that they had grown tired of focusing on anything in particular. Therefore, they rested from that difficult labor, leaving me to stare blankly at nothing. My brain, influenced by my eyes, also rested as all thoughts simply evaporated and left my mind. I can not say how long I was in this zombie-like state, but remaining in it was a luxury I could not refuse. Had I continued to enjoy this luxury uninterrupted, there is no telling how many hours might have passed. I was, however, interrupted and yanked back to the real world by the innocent voice of a friend.

“There’s nothing like an empty theatre,” noted my good friend Jen in a breathy whisper, awakening my brain and eyes from their slumber.

“Yeah,” I responded without much thought.

Having nothing else to do, I reflected on what Jen had just said. I looked out over the hundreds of empty seats facing the stage. Each cushioned bench sat empty and silent, as if waiting for the next production to unfold before it. Spread out between the rows of benches lay the grey-carpeted aisles, running right to the foot of the stage, and the deserted balcony remained cradled over it all by two thick black pillars. The two double doorways a few feet behind the pillars separated the rest of the world from the theatrical secrets yet to be revealed.

Absorbing this sight refreshed me, and I eagerly looked on. The beauty of the empty theatre was the silence, the dimly lit presence that filled the vast space. This presence seemed cold and quiet when first experienced, like an intimidating, impersonal ghost. Yet it fascinated me, and I felt compelled not to flee from it but to keep observing it.
As I did, it became warmer and mysterious, a temple which held many wonderful memories. I was at that time involved in the comradeship of a drama production at this same theatre, and I knew how much work, time, and stress were contributed each time a performance was put on. I also knew of the inside jokes, the new friendships, the common purpose that formed as a result of participating in a production. Many such productions had been performed on this very stage, in front of these silent benches. Many more such productions would also be performed at this very place after my classmates and I graduated. This theatre was indeed a sacred place, a place with a long history of the magic that is drama.
I felt content there, looking out over the hushed audience of benches. Time passed quickly, the class ended, and it was time to go to lunch. I left with my friends to go on with my day, quietly enjoying a sense of wonder.

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