If you spend enough time around Off-Off Broadway, you recognize the syndrome that sets in. Your inner-monologue goes a little bit like this: “Oh God, not another showcase, not another overwritten, under-rehearsed play in an overheated room. I’ve already seen three this week; one more will absolutely finish me off.” I call it Postcard Fatigue.
I don’t go into New York for shows as often as I should, which is why I’ve never suffered from this syndrome. In fact, I love the postcards! When I see a show in New York I begin filling my playbill with Rectangular Goodness. All these shows I’m never going to see! And some of the one-joke postcards end up funnier than the plays themselves.
And I don’t take just one postcard per show. I take one for archival purposes with the playbill, and at least one more to—I don’t know, mail?
Having a show’s postcard with its playbill gives my “archive” (AKA bookshelf) a complete feel; the postcard gives a hint of the show while the playbill tells us more. Frustrating, though, are the non-standard playbill sizes. I can’t fit a postcard or folded piece of paper inside, and it doesn’t fit on my small, chronologically-ordered bookshelf. (Currently lying on top of its playbill brethren are the Off-Broadway playbill for Avenue Q, shaped like a subway station marker, and a tightly-wound scroll for a community theatre production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum—never opened.) But I don’t need to worry with Off-Off-Broadway shows. Most playbills are the correct size—that of a folded piece of copy paper—because they are a folded piece of copy paper.
So keep those postcards coming! You only succumb to Postcard Fatigue if you actually see the shows. But you won’t find me making that nightly commute; I’ll be at home playing Frozen Bubble.