A New Conversation at Harlequin Productions



Submitted by Harlequin Productions

Harlequin Productions newest play, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, will feature a "Talkback" session following the March 6 performance.
Harlequin Productions newest play, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, will feature a “Talkback” session following the March 6 performance.

A long-standing but perhaps underutilized theater tradition, the Talkback, is making a come-back at Harlequin Productions.

Harlequin has offered a talkback session after its special student matinee performances since the late 90s. For select productions, Harlequin invites student groups to a special matinee performance followed by a 20-30 minute talkback session with the director and members of the cast. Over the years, these talkback sessions with students and teachers have proven to be highly thought provoking, fun, and inspirational for both the student audiences and the production teams.

“I’m always amazed by the insightful questions the students ask,” commented Managing Artistic Director Scot Whitney. “And the casts have fun discussing their characters and the artistic process. Over the years, I’ve had several actors tell me they love doing the student talkbacks.”

In the past Harlequin has also hosted talkbacks at some of their mainstage shows, although it’s been several years. Recently, the company decided to bring them back.

“Discussing the play in a group helps an audience member get even more out of the experience,” Artistic Director Linda Whitney explained. “Not only can an audience member ask questions to satisfy their curiosity, but they can also engage in a conversation that explores what the play made them feel.”

23rd floor harlequinHarlequin Productions will now host a post-show talkback with members of the cast and crew after the first Friday performance of every non-musical production. Audiences will get the chance to hear insights from the artistic team, ask burning questions, and discuss the play in a group setting. This is an added exclusive enrichment for first Friday audience members with no extra cost to the ticket price.

“I love the idea of talking with the audience after a performance,” said Harlequin actor and Development Manager Mark Alford. “It deepens the connection I have to the material. And I’d love it from the perspective of an audience member too…I always like a piece of art more after I study it.”

Scot Whitney is energized about Harlequin’s re-energized talkback program. “This is about making the theater-going experience even more stimulating. I can’t wait to see what people have to say.”

The next Harlequin talkback will follow the March 6 performance of Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Audiences can purchase tickets at harlequinproduction.org for any first-Friday showing of a non-musical production and join the conversation.


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