Ever since I was little, going to the theater has always been an interest, a hobby, a tradition for my family. As I grow older, I find that I love theater more and more with each show I see or the more I learn about the craft. I'm extremely thankful that I was brought up to appreciate the arts and have had the opportunities to see so many plays and musicals from school productions to Broadway.
If you aren't a theater-buff, maybe this article isn't for you, but any lover of the theater could go on and on about reasons why they love it. The theater is such a unique form of storytelling because there aren't many limits to how it can be done and every performance is new in its own way. Now some may say that the theater isn't much different from films, but that's not really true. Sure seeing a theater performance could be similar to going to the cinema, but in the theater, the audience is just as important a contributor to the show as the actual performance whereas audiences in a cinema can easily become a nuisance. In the theater, the performance builds off the audience's interaction and reaction to what is going on. If you're seeing a comedic performance but no one is laughing or connecting with it, then you'll be more inclined to have a negative reaction to the piece yourself. Experiencing the audience's experiences and building it onto your own makes theater performances all the more unique and interesting.
There are so many elements that contribute to the craft that make theater what it is. With so many factors that have to work together in order to pull off a performance, it's a risky business some would say and it's daunting to think about, but you become incredibly impressed when you realize just how much skill people in theater have. I think the whole world could learn a lot from how the theater and performances work, aside from the stories themselves!
The theater is definitely one of my favorite places. Since every performance is different, you'll always be watching, experiencing, and learning something new. You could see the same show multiple times over the years, but experience a new performance each time. Possibly one of the most spectacular things about the theater is the fact that almost everything is up for interpretation. From the actual crafting and staging of a show to the audience's reaction, everyone will gain their own individual perspective and idea of the story being told.
Now, the stories being told through theater are a whole other topic that could be dragged on and on, but let's be short and sweet. They come in all shapes and sizes, in all kinds of genres, in all levels of maturity, in all matters of importance. These stories make us more empathetic. For two hours or so, you live through someone else's vision of the world (past, present, or future) and learn all the beauty and bad in the world. It's a safe time and space that allows us to be cathartic and let our emotions run wild! You get to experience and relate to things you may have technically never done in your life, but through the theater, you feel like you have and your view of the world is broadened. And each story is memorable in its own way. Sure there may be some performances you forget about over time or you don't remember the plot exactly, but there's always at least one thing that is taken away from each performance that helps us live in a better world or mindset.
Many memorable theater moments can be related to musicals—don't even get me started. But I will say this: theater folk knows how to write songs that are both irresistibly catchy while being irresistibly honest about the world around them. You could listen to an entire album from a musical you have never seen in person, but still, understand that show's world and issues and emotions! You don't always need a theater to love and experience the theater. It's all at your fingertips if you look at the right places. Most times you just need to start looking at the world around you...it's what the stories are about anyway.
I said earlier that one reason the theater is so special is due to everything being up for interpretation. But really, the theater is so special because the stories are interpreting our world (not only because we can all interpret it in our own way). The theater is trying to tell us something. I think we should all start listening.