A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to see Annie Baker’s The Flick, at Playwright’s Horizons. Annie Baker’s script with her deft wordplay and the specificity of her dialogue, resonated with me. Sam Gold’s direction was very effective and the cast was exceptional. But I also enjoyed the play for the inner dialogue that it sounded off in me.
You see, I too worked at a movie theatre, an independent family run theatre that is now gone. In fact all five children in my family worked at a movie theatre. Although the other four had worked at the sister location, when I turned 15 there were no jobs available, so I was “on my own” to discover the Janus Theater and find out what happens in the projectionist booth, the candy room and at late night screenings.
I spent five years at the movie theatre working my way up. My first position was coffee shop/ice cream parlor attendant, years before coffee shops were common place. It was attached to the movie theatre because the owners of the theatre had gone to Italy once and discovered Cappucinos and gelato. i usually had two customers a night, not even enough to cover my minimum wage. I moved on to usher, to candy counter, to ticketing. Never made it to projectionist. I believe my first college essay was titled “Combatting the Milk Dud Mush Making Monsters: An Inside Tells All.”
My life would not be the same if it weren’t for my time spent there. And my experience was drastically different and surprisingly similar to Annie Baker’s story. But her story has all the nostalgia and characters and dilemmas of a place like the Janus. So so so very glad to have seen it.
"In a run-down movie theater in central Massachusetts, three underpaid employees mop the floors and attend to one of the last 35 millimeter film projectors in the state. Their tiny battles and not-so-tiny heartbreaks play out in the empty aisles, becoming more gripping than the lackluster, second-run movies on screen. With keen insight and a finely-tuned comic eye, The Flick is a hilarious and heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world.
Alex Hanna - Skylar/The Dreaming Man
Louisa Krause - Rose
Matthew Maher - Sam
Aaron Clifton Moten - Avery
Scenic & Costume Design David Zinn
Lighting Design Jane Cox
Sound Design Bray Poor
Production Stage Manager Katrina Herrmann”