As they made their way toward the Theater of the Tiny, Alan had to conceal his skepticism. Deirdre was so excited by the entire concept of really, really small drama that it was almost infectious. He didn’t want to spoil her enthusiasm with his well-honed, cosmopolitan world-weariness. After all, he’d seen Japanese noh drama, Baroque French masques and Sino-Senegalese performance art. The theater could hold few surprises for a man of his experience.
“I’ve always thought regular drama was too large,” Deirdre was saying. “It was a theory of mine, ever since I was twenty-three. So the subtlety of this tiny drama just blew my mind.” Her eyes lit up at the memories of the spectacular tininess. “Their revival of Anna Christie had this amazing miniscule seaport set. I just imagined crawling into one of those tiny boats like I could sail off on a tiny globe-spanning ocean.”
“And I suppose they drink tiny drinks in the bar scene?”
“You have no idea how skillfully they do it. A thoughtless actor would just down a tiny drink with one normal-size sip, leaving nothing in the glass for additional sipping through the remainder of the scene. But these actors of tiny drama, they measure their sips ever so carefully to fit into the entire tiny world of the piece. Yet they do it in a way that makes the sips look totally natural in their miniature plane of existence.” Deirdre made size gestures with her hands, bringing her fingers nearly together to show various extremities of tininess. “Watching the performance, I feel like I’m becoming a small ant, watching professional ant performers, only incredibly well-trained ant performers with great enunciation that have the emotional range of a Katherine Hepburn or a Robert Mitchum.”
Alan raised his eyebrows. “How do these actors even get into tiny acting? I mean, you must have to meet some demanding physical requirements…”
Deirdre grasped his arm quickly with the urgency of a girl thinking he’d completely misunderstood. “That’s just it. Everything is done with such mastery that the actor’s physical size is irrelevant. Just through their performance they evoke in the audience the essence of the tiny.”
“So what you’re saying is that their motions…”
“It’s not even just in the motions.” Deirdre fixed him with an intense look, her eyes turning to him at the same time that they seemed to slightly recede. “It’s in their entire persona. They even have to make their eyes tinier, to psychically shrink down their corneas to an appropriate dimension, to match the tininess of the piece.”
“You say tininess of the piece, but surely the play’s the same size. If they do Macbeth, the play isn’t any smaller.”
“Not in any textual way, no, but the characters are reflected through an entirely tiny lens. It’s almost as though you need to squint a little to see the small Banquo getting murdered.”
Alan gave her a playful elbow jab. “Yes, the sad death of little Banquette.”
Deirdre just looked at him blankly. They were getting closer to the theater, the Tiny Drama banners popping up here and there, but Alan seemed no closer to understanding. “You’re making jokes. You just don’t get it, do you? Tininess can be tragic, Alan. In fact, Tiny Drama Macbeth was much more moving than full-size Macbeth when I saw it in New York, even with live horses and dogs.”
“Well, if they ever do tiny Death of a Salesman, let me know, because I’d love having the chance to overlook the entire inconspicuous thing.”
Deirdre was at a breaking point. Her lipstick was just the right shade of livid red to express her outrage. “You see these Tiny tickets?” she demanded, holding out the passes she’d acquired at a miniature price. “There were two of them, but they’re so small, one just slipped through my fingers.” Deirdre let a miniscule pink ticket fall from her hand down into the normal-sized, rain-filled gutter at their feet. “I’d rather concentrate on this Tiny performance by myself than sit next to a snide, snipping size snob. I’ll see you back in boring old regular-size world, Alan. I’m going to the land of the tiny!”
With that Deirdre stalked off, joining the lively stream of enthusiastic patrons pouring down the ramp into the Theater of the Tiny like busy brown squirrels diminishing in the distance as they ran down an angular hallway.
Alan tsked to himself, checked his smart phone and smiled. The Theater of the Tiny could wait. He had a complementary ticket to the new Cirque du Chien show, Humongo Venti Grostesqurie. “Now that’s entertainment,” he said in satisfaction.
Check out more absurdity in my collection Space Command and the Planets of Doom: http://amzn.to/atEZo9