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Lasting Impact of Live Theatres

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According to playbill.com, The Phantom of the Opera is the longest running Broadway show with 12,742 performances as of September 14, 2018. With this in mind, one can infer that people enjoy a well written musical from all over the globe. Though, some have arguably preferred film and TV, everyone should experience a live theatre show at least once in their lifetime, for it offers more than a film and TV when it comes to the physical experience, transformative impact and better talented actors. Sitting in a theatre is simply better when it comes to the physical experience rather than sitting in a movie theatre or in your living room. An article states that, “…actors and audience are separated by a distance ranging from a few feet in a small black box to hundreds of feet in a large auditorium…theatre actors must exaggerate their movements and speak loudly to bridge the gap”. This is far more intimate setting than watching an actor on screen. Those who experience a live performance get to sit in a room full of people who appreciate the art together. Not only does the environment change the mood, but also the architecture: “…when audiences gather regularly to experience a performance, attempts are generally made to organize the space in order to improve on the nature of the experience the audience can have…”. This means that the theatre’s design is create for the optimal experience for the audience, whereas the movies are compact, unsanitary and pretentious. With the prodigious environment of the theatre comes the emotional response from the audience.

In addition, the shows themselves are so well written that they have the ability to transform culture, people, and art in ways that are unlike any other platform. One person writes after watching the show, Once, “After the first song I burst into tears at the beauty of the music”. In fact, the show Dear Evan Hansen, a show about teens who struggle with depression and social anxiety, has already helped teens in tremendous ways. One person wrote to the cast, “Dear Evan Hansen, thank you for saving my life…I woke up two days ago wanting to do something really stupid. I’ve never felt so understood and cared for”. The show was so popular that it reportedly “sold out in less than an hour”. The reason for this impact is credited to the competent Broadway actors.

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The actors themselves perform no matter how they are feeling in the moment whereas film/tv actors are given breaks and cuts in between scenes. Broadway actor, Ramin Karimloo, confessed dealing with the treacherous schedule of working eight times a week: “There was a show recently where I was on the fence whether it was wise to go on, but once you make the decision that you are doing it, then you go out and tell the story. Then you go straight home and crash” (The Secrets). Broadway actors are required to power through their performances no matter how they feel because people are paying to watch them, not their understudies. One writer argues that “They have to do their own stunts and sing their own songs…Theatre actors tend to be much more multi-talented than movie actors, which adds considerably to their performances”. Theatre actors are clearly more experienced and work hard to become skilled in their craft, which strengthens the theory of live theatre over cinema.

In conclusion, those who continue to make the mistake of choosing film and TV over live theatre are truly missing out on a captivating environment, impactful art and accomplished actors. Watching a show like The Phantom of the Opera, which has obviously become a crowd pleaser, would be far more memorable moment than of that sitting in a movie theater.

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