In Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, the actor portraying the dictator does not really die when the senators stab him 23 times in Act 3 – although the audience pretends that he does. That actor will be there for the matinee tomorrow. The audience suspends its disbelief in the pretend reality on stage so that it can empathize with the characters and deeply commit to the narrative. After the final curtain falls, the entire cast of actors come out from the wings and accept audience applause. The curtain call at the end of every stage play is a salute, a mutual acknowledgement that actors and audience have successfully pretended together in the telling of a story.