The Importance of Theatre


In previous posts, I’ve touched on the importance of theatre and live performance. An actor’s job is to be inventive, adaptable, spontaneous and free, all while staying within the restrictions of the script. There is no better training ground for this than live theatre.

The theatre both feeds the your need to perform and forces you to be inventive. When reaching for emotional inspiration night after night, eight shows a week, you to dig deep and to connect with your scene partner to find real moments.

Imagine a really emotional death scene and the freedom to go to that deep, dark place. Sounds delicious, right? Now imagine that scene the 100th time. How do you find the emotional connection and reality you found during the first time? Honestly, sometimes you can’t. But that’s the joy of live performance. You have to say the words; you have to have this scene, so how do you make it real? On some nights maybe you do find the real tragic emotion of the scene. Maybe some nights you find the anger, maybe the humor. A theatre actor learns to draw upon all of the acting “tools” in their toolbox rather than simply a memory. You’ll find these tools performing on stage.

The best part of theatre is the shared experience - the live interaction and feedback both with your fellow actors and the audience. Actors will feed off of a live audience, which can be electric. Theatre also helps you diversify your skill set by playing roles from all genres and all time periods. You’ll be forced to move, talk and act like your various characters.

Challenge yourself to conquer all genres: Comedy, drama, period. Try Shakespeare – even if it scares you. Learning to act in a Shakespearean play is an experience that will stay with you. How important is alliteration? Diction? How do you carry yourself? How do you convey sentiment written (pretty much) in another language?? These lessons learned will translate to every medium.

The preparation for theatre is the same as the preparation for TV & film: breaking down the scenes and finding your moments. However what you will learn from the sponteneaty of the stage will be invaluable.

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