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Life in the Theatre

Photo by Mostafa Meraji on Unsplash

Theatre isn’t just a human-scaled art—it’s live-human-dependent, on both sides of the aisle, and irreducibly so. Even as a certain amount of stage technology has been automated, there will never be a theatrical substitute for live people to enact, operate, and attend it. This is theatre’s unique communitarian glory, but it can also be its Achilles heel, as its stubborn humanness means it is not only subject to the countless “natural shocks” that flesh is heir to (age, injury, error, anxiety) but susceptible to our race’s broader social failings—competition, invidious comparison, exploitation, and worse. In this issue we shine a light on some of those who toil in theatre’s trenches and make the best of its indignities, inequities, and serendipities. From jobbing actors to front-of-house staff, these are some of the folks who make the show go on, often against steep odds. And attention must be paid.

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