When I was about 11, my parents took me to a Broadway production of All the Way Home which nearly ended badly from an excess of dramatic involvement. Based on Agee’s Death in the Family, a young father dies in a car accident on a bumpy back road. The grieving widow’s none-too-helpful brother is explaining how Jay hit his chin just hard enough on just the exact “right” spot to create a fatal blow. A half inch over, the brother continues, and Jay would be right here with us, or . . . a little to the left or right, or with less force, he would be horribly crippled. Imagine, just that one spot . . .
The drama barreled on, but I didn’t, musing on the mystery of that spot. I leaned forward, tapping my chin thoughtfully on the seat in front of me until a strong hand took me by the shoulder and yanked me back. “Stop that!” my father whispered.
“I was just trying to find . . . ”
“Well don’t.” That’s the problem with drama. You want audience involvement but maybe not too much.