Applause.

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

The weekend just gone was super busy but highly rewarding: Camperdown Theatre Company returned to the stage after the enforced shut downs and restrictions of Covid, and launched its 2021 season of Mystery At Shady Acres. It’s a fun whodunnit show with plenty of audience interaction as guests try to solve the mystery presented in the first act.

It was wonderful to be back in the theatre with an audience, and to see the hard work of the past few months come to fruition. Even better was the enthusiasm of the audience: tickets sold out early, people arrived with excitement on their faces, and there was a buzz of anticipation in the theatre as the time drew near for the show to start.

The audiences on both Friday and Saturday nights were very responsive and enthusiastic in their applause. Many made very positive comments after the show, and the actors and directors finished the night feeling very positive and enormously encouraged as a result.

Applause is a noun that came into English in the early 1400s from the Latin word applausus, which means commendation or praise.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, English folk used the word  applausible to refer to anything worthy of praise or applause. That word fell out of favour, though, and now we might use the term praiseworthy or commendable instead.

Within a century of applause entering the English language, applaud appeared as its verb form, meaning to express approval or to praise. This came from the Latin verb applaudere, meaning to clap the hands inaffirmation or agreement, to approve by clapping hands. This word was a combination of ad (to) and plaudere  (to clap). 

The use of applaud to mean clap one’s hands dates back to the 1590s; which shows that they were using the word to refer to giving praise or commendations in general well before they were using it so literally.

This also gave English speakers the word plaudit, which can mean a round of applause, but it can also mean any other expression of approval or praise, whether clapping one’s hands is involved or not. they were using the word before that to refer to giving praise or commendations in general before that.

The power of applause should not be underestimated: nothing stimulates a performer more directly than acknowledgement and praise of their work.

As we head into another busy week and another weekend of performances, I plan to encourage the cast and crew with the positive comments made by members of last week’s audiences.

When each show is done, we will continue to be thankful as  the audiences clap  their hands and praise us however they will. We at CTC will welcome their applause and their plaudits for as long as they will give continue to applaud. 

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