Phantom Talk-Backs

By Nicholas Sheets, dramaturg

Picture this with me. The cast has just left the stage after a triumphant finish. The orchestration is about to play its final score of the night to bid patrons farewell. WAIT! The dramaturg runs out onto stage, “Good evening!” The audience, startled, looks up on stage. “Good evening everyone. We invite you to attend our talk-back session this evening with the actors.” The audience begins to get restless. Are they really going to be able to speak with the Phantom, let alone Christine? What a joy. Once the orchestration ends the dramaturg picks up the mic and the talk-back session begins.

For everyone who isn’t familiar with this term “talk-back,” here is a brief explanation. You, the audience, and me, the dramaturg, destroy the 4th wall that disconnects the actors on stage with the audience.

Last Thursday we had our first talk-back session. It was an excellent experience. Many great questions were posed, as well as nice compliments. Many love this opportunity at BYU to stay after a performance and visit with the actors who have spent so many hours perfecting their art just for you.

Tonight, Thursday the 31st of January, we will be holding our final talk-back session with the Phantom cast. If you aren’t attending this show then you can still arrive at 10:00 p.m. to sit with those brave enough to participate. Whether or not you want to actually pose a question you may still come and observe. I’m sure you’ll leave the Phantom talk-back session with a few things to consider and a better appreciation for all the hard work that went into the production.

Expect photos to come from tomorrow’s talk-back session!

Thanks everyone!

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