Performing Outside Mullingar for Madison Audiences

by James Pickering (Tony Reilly)

It is a wonderful thing for actors to have an audience in their grip. It does not happen too often. When it does happen, and happen so consistently, night after night, actors know they're performing something special. Last weekend, the opening weekend of Forward's Outside Mullingar by John Patrick Shanley, all four of us onstage felt the vibration of audiences captured by the play. What is most striking about this phenomenon is how willingly they surrender themselves. They let us be conduits for the narrative, the poetry, the message contained in the writing. It is an old adage that all one can do as an actor in preparation for performance is to be ready for the first moment. When audiences supply as much energy in receiving the play as ours have done, it makes our job not only easier, but more rewarding. So thank you, Madison, for your contribution to what is no less than a joyous experience for us all.