It has been almost 9 months since hundreds of people have been able to occupy the same space as each other. Theater, concerts, festivals, and more have not occurred and now I have been missing it more and more. Coming from a theater and live entertainment background, I knew it would be natural for me to miss it. After all, creativity is a large part of my identity and I have found that through theater for many many years. On the surface, I miss is theatre but, there is so much more when I start to look deeper as to why I miss the arts.
Theatre is so much more than a flashy, entertaining production. Theater comes with meaning. Theatre is storytelling. It shares a story that people want to see, listen to, and to watch. It is a time to delve into someone else's story and experience what they are feeling and seeing. A completely different world is constructed for the public to see. While TV and film can bring us into a different reality but, you go there alone. You are sitting in your bed or on your couch and there is no collective group around you experiencing everything you experience.
Theatre is also a place for deep personal connection. There is nothing like the riveting feeling of being next to hundreds of strangers experiencing the same story as you. Sitting in an audience crying, laughing, and thinking together creates a sense of community and togetherness. The energy that is generated is so strong it can be felt in every crevasse of the performance venue. The energy is so strong that when a space like that is empty it feels heavy, haunted, and begging to filled with people again.
Theatre and live performance is a beautiful human experience. It is unedited. Everything that occurs in those few hours can not be recreated. There is no pause, reply, or rewind. If a mistake happens, deal with it. If a joke falls flat, so be it. If something unexpected gets a laugh, amazing. The fact there are so many variables that can affect each performance makes it all truly magical. There is magic in film and television but, the magic is the fact that those worlds are perfected. Theatre is magical because it is live. Theatre is perfectly imperfect.
*Some theatre magic: Alexander in Legally Blonde and Ryan in High School Musical (Aug. 2012)