No matter which form of art you enjoy the most, I think we can all agree that there’s something magical about watching a live stage performance. It was once stated with authority, that the theatre was the most sublime of all arts. As far as we can tell, it’s probably the oldest as well. Storytelling is a form of live performance and as soon as humans developed a semi-coherent language, the yarns started to flow. So when the theater troupe 34 West Theater Company settled down for good at 200 Meeting Street, theater lovers all over town jubilated. It meant that they can now enjoy the edgy and original performances of that famous troupe every night all year round.
Years on the Road
New York was a brief stop in the founders’ journey. Before Stephen Wayne and Jeff Querin made a permanent home in their current premises in the heart of Charleston they were touring and performing all over the country. No place was too weird or off-putting for their creative talents. A church was just as good a location as a medium-security jail. As for dive bars, they seemed to have a certain appeal that got the duo’s creative juices flowing. Their performance spoke to the rowdy drunks and the meditative pious alike. Genuine art touches the soul of the audience no matter their background or level of engagement.
From Yogurt to Theater
Before it became a stage where live performances of prancing thespians were held within its walls every evening, 200 Meeting St. was a froyo shop that owned and operated by Sweet Frog Yogurt. But where the lightning strikes, it beckons for your muse to follow. So the traveling duo decided to take off their roaming shoes and turn this dairy emporium into a place to churn out daring art and thought-provoking pieces. Currently, the theatre holds 64 seats along with a bar, cheese snacks, and ice cream.
Watchers Performers – 34 West Theater Company
The 34 West Theater Company trademark is small productions where the whole show has between 2 to 4 performers. It’s not just a cost-saving trick as much as turning the audience into part of the performance as well. Wayne writes the sketches and sometimes there’s improvisation as well. But the audience can’t always tell if what their watching was pre-written or is being made on the fly. Nothing is rigid, and the show is always fluid and evolving.