“The Director’s Note,” by Ryan Guzzo Purcell, for The Big Meal by Dan LeFranc, as produced by the American Conservatory Theater Master of Fine Arts Program of 2016 at the new Strand Theater reads:
In Molloy, Samuel Beckett says, “I begin to think, that is to say to listen harder.” It is this link between the depth of our thinking and the depth of our listening that is at the heart of Dan LeFranc’s The Big Meal. We can’t solve our problems without better thinking, and for that we need better listening.
We are being trained to listen more shallowly, to take in more information and process it as quickly as possible. Understand the sound bite and get to the point. But there’s a message behind the words that is screaming out for connection. Onstage, the difference between a character and a caricature is depth, and the same is true in life. But it’s not that people are shallow, it’s that we often don’t listen well enough to really know them. And until we really know, how can we help or change anything?
So I invite you to listen, and to enjoy the show.