By Rachel Comish
I’ve done theatre for most my life. I’ve taken classes, done drama, joined community theatres, taken voice and dance lessons, and just intergrade myself in that culture. Here are some things that I’ve noticed about theatre and why I love it.
The basic benefit about theatre is you get to express yourself.
I know—it’s a cliché. But it’s true. You can be anyone or anything with a costume and some imagination. Theatre shows people how to connect with their creativity and show all different kinds of emotion.
As you read and participate in different plays, you get to know many different characters.
Whether you’re performing a scene every week for a class or working on a show for months, you have to put yourself in someone else’s head.
Yes, you are only pretending to be a certain character. But that means understanding that characters choices and motivations, their personality and humor, what makes them likable and what makes them interesting. You put yourself through different situations that may just be for a show, but still give you a taste of what that experience would be like.
As you understand the various characters you play, you learn to empathize with people more.
It’s easy to judge when you don’t know what’s going on with someone’s life, but turning yourself into different people can help broaden your understanding of why people make hard choices.
Being on a stage in front of an audience can be hard.
I don’t get nervous about performing, mostly because I’ve already rehearsed everything to death and the stage lights make the audience disappear. But auditioning is hard. You’re onstage in a new theatre, performing alone in front of people you just met. That can be nerve wracking. But it’s good to do hard things. We have to do a lot of hard things in life, so it’s healthy to start that mentality at a young age.
Theatre takes hard work.
It can be months of rehearsing every day. You memorize lines and songs, but you also learn dance numbers and blocking. Musicals can get pretty lengthy and rehearsals can go for a long time, especially the last week before a show opens. You have to be dedicated, especially when you’re rehearsing the same scene fifty times in a row while everyone sweats under heavy costumes, thick makeup, and hot stage lights.
Theatre takes a lot of different skills.
There is so much that goes into making a show. You have actors, dancers, singers. There are directors, choreographers, musicians, and voice coaches. There’s the tech team for the sound and the tech team for the set. You have costume designers, makeup artists, and wig makers. So many people!
Many of these people can do a large majority of these skills, a few superhumans can do all of them. The thing about theatre is you at least get a taste for these different talents. You may try building a set and find it’s not your forte, but at least you tried. Theatre encourages people to try new things and go out of their comfort zone.
Most of all, theatre helps people pool their creativity and make something amazing.
There are so many talented people in theatre, with completely different skills. You make do with what you have. You can be creative and build a set out of thrift shop items. Add some paint, and you’ve got yourself a show.
It’s incredible to see people working together and learning from each other. Theatre helps people know themselves and know other people. It helps them deal with problems, or using song and dance as a way to cope with behavioral disorders.
Get to know your community and go see a show. It doesn’t have to be a professional play— it can be something low-key, like the local high school’s production of Beauty and the Beast. Find out when they are building their set and help out. Volunteer to usher a show or sell candy bars at intermission. Get a look at what goes on backstage. It’ll make you appreciate the end result that much more.