by Joanna McNaney Stein. @joannafolk.
ROCHESTER, NY - Curtain calls have been standard fare for theatergoers since the 19th Century - a notion that Rochester Senior High School’s longtime director and drama teacher, Scotty Giordano, recently decided to put it to the test, concluding that younger generations feel much more comfortable with curtain texts as opposed to calls.
“Actors holding hands and bowing while the audience claps? Nobody has time for that,” Giordano stated while reviewing the latest iOS 14.5 emoji update. “If you’re spending time on a curtain call, you won’t have time to watch that video of a cat in a bubble bath. I mean, look at this! A heart on fire, a face with spiral eyes, a woman with a beard! Incredible! Curtain calls are a thing of the past. Curtain texts are the future.”
In order to test his theory, audience members were asked for their mobile numbers before watching the school’s preview performance of Twelfth Night. When the lights dimmed at the end, no actors returned. Instead, spectators received drama face emoji texts sent from the lead actors. Some believe the move is too much too soon.
“At the end all our phones started jingling,” recalled Sylvia Campell, retired Home Economics teacher, theatre fan, and octogenarian. “I thought it was a fire alarm or an AMBER alert. It took me about ten minutes to find my phone in my pocketbook, and then I couldn’t find my reading glasses. When I did, there was a tiny picture on my phone. Kids call them ‘moogees’ or ‘emojahs’ or something. What a bunch of gobbledygook!” Giordano concluded that nine out of the 10 audience members preferred curtain texts to curtain calls. His cast also seems to agree.
“Nobody cares about going to plays anymore, so I’m fine with it,” said Candace Wallace, the student playing Olivia, whose TikTok will likely get her a full scholarship to NYU. “And what’s with pit orchestras being kept in pits? This is the 21st Century! Free the orchestra NOW!”
Following in Giordano’s footsteps, it’s rumored that an off-broadway production of Stomp has already agreed to scrap their whole show and text ticket-holders emoji dancers, wastebaskets and brooms. While some productions make audiences want to jump to their feet and cheer, others leave spectators thinking “this could have been a text.”