7 Reasons Why Theatre Makes Our Lives Better



06/23/2013 07:03pm
  It's all about perspective...

"Ah, but on the other hand..." there is much to say about point of view is there not?

My initial inclination was to systematically refute you answers point by point, but there is no value in that. The world will always have a contrarian because somewhere, someone will always be disagreeable.

It's sad though, for you I guess. I wonder if you wrote snide little comment just to dampen the elated feeling I had after reading such an uplifting essay about the importance of art in our lives.

I will, however, ask for some examples. Tell me, please, the last theatrical event, a play perhaps that insulted “a particular segment of society [by] pushing a political agenda that offends many.” I'd love to hear about it.

And as I mentioned before, there is much to say about point of view. When I was in seventh grade I saw a production of “Cats” that gave me the excitement and desire to eventually pursue a career in the theatre. And I have done so for over 15 years, so before you play down “Spider Man” or any form of theatre for that matter, remember there could me that one young kid who happens to see a performance that changes the course of his life.

As for the remainder of your disagreements I am left to wonder about the point of them other than to take the opposite view just for the sake of being the opposite.

I read another essay earlier today. Reading your comment reminded me of the male character in the essay. After years in a conflicted relationship, he lamented that he “never learned to love anyone" more than himself. I wonder if that is true in your life. To borrow from the title of the essay, you might have settled for what doesn't make you happy. But for the sake of those in your life, should there be any, I hope that isn't true for them.


04/08/2013 08:58am
  Ah, but on the other hand...

"Theatre does no harm" - except when it is insulting a particular segment of society or pushing a political agenda that offends many

"Theatre is a sophisticated expression of a basic human need" - except when it's cheap exploitation of a film, book, movie, etc. slapped together to make a few bucks

"Theatre brings people together" - so does a cock fight

"Theatre models for us a kind of public discourse that lies at the heart of democratic life" - as long as you agree with the opinions on display. You can't actually engage a play in an argument

"Both the making of theatre and attending of theatre contribute to education and literacy" - remember that when you're going to see "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark"

"Theatre as an industry contributes to our economy and plays a special role in the revitalization of neglected neighborhoods" - Because theater has revitalized ten times more neighborhoods than a Wal-Mart with paying jobs.

"influences the way we think and feel about our own lives" - No more or less than any other influence we see from day to day.


03/24/2012 12:30am
  Eric Rae

Very well said. I can't even begin to say how much I've grown as a result of my pursuit of the creation of theatre. I am definitely sharing this article with everyone who is willing to read it.


03/17/2012 12:23pm
  Rene Carbayas

"Studies have shown that students who participate in theatre do better in school. Making plays together also draws kids out of their shells and helps them learn to socialize in a productive and healthy way."--witnessed this among my high school students at Claret School of Zamboanga City, Philippines...


03/13/2012 02:16am
  Steven P.C. Fernandez

Well said. Precise, to the letter. Let me repost this, so I share in your celebration :)


01/25/2012 09:53am
  Patrick White

I love this. So concise and insightful. A revelation that you knew all along. many of these reasons i've carried around and it's wonderful to see them shared. Onwards and upwards.


01/03/2012 04:13pm
  Steve Peters

This is an eloquent and simple analysis that cuts through to the truth about the survival value of theatre in any education and its role in the future of the academy.


11/24/2011 11:45am
  Fabiola Johnson

I teach and produce theater with children, teens and adults in a small city in Mexico. It has been very difficult to recruit young adults but those who are involved, have better grades and can be seen protaganizing events of all types; they shine and will hopefully never be mixed up in any negative activities which have affected our beautiful country recently. I will translate this to spanish and read it before the next show, if it's alright with the author. THANK YOU


11/20/2011 06:37pm
  Good info

Very nice site!


11/14/2011 03:56pm
  Mark Haren

Both my children,Daughter & Son have been involved with theatre since grade school. Each has been in over 40 plays to date. while they both have other interests as well, they each continue to stay involved with theatre as often as is possible. Even as they explore new avenues in life, they each have not lost the desire to perform.I am and always will be extremely proud of them,as they both truely shine theatrically.


11/05/2011 04:36pm
  Robert Patrick

Gay people worldwide understand every point this marvelous speech makes. see my lecture on the origins of gay theatre here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KGKetgHXOI


11/03/2011 11:11pm

Theatre is stress relief...it diverts our attention from our own personal struggles and allows our minds to clear from the craziness of every day living. Theatre can move us to tears, allow us to laugh uncontrollably or amaze us with wonder....theatre is therapy.


10/29/2011 10:12am
  Robert Kaplowitz

These are fantastic reasons. If I may offer a #8:

Theatre helps us to understand the lives of others on a visceral, rather than intellectual, level.

As a white person, I can't know what it was to be African-American in the 20th Century, but August Wilson's work helps me to see and understand this. In the same vein, I have been expanded by the "Vagina Monologues," "In Darfur," "County of Kings..". And, even beyond the obvious demographic differences, plays that seem to be "of" my world allow me a window into lives that are ostensibly similar, yet fundamentally different. My parents may have been academics, but I gained an understanding of an entirely different human condition while watching "Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf." So - theatre expands our connection to the larger world, and our empathy for lives lived differently from our own.


10/29/2011 06:56am
  annette matamoros

How true these statements are. Thanks Charles for sharing.


10/28/2011 07:20pm

The theatre I am currently working for could really use this. Thank you Sir! You have made me smile!


10/28/2011 12:37pm
  David Ramón Zayas

I've just shared this on Gamut Theatre Group's twitter (@gamut_theatre). What a wonderfully articulated article, Manny! Thanks for sharing it.


10/28/2011 07:59am
  Connie McEwen

Theatre Alliance of Buffalo will be sharing this article! Thank you Howard!


10/27/2011 11:15pm
  Lonny Fox

I do not thank that I could say it any better. Have been on stage a number of times and been changed by every show that I have ever done. I knew that it made a difference. Thank you for expressing it so well.


10/27/2011 10:03pm
  Erin Voth


Shop Our New Store

You can purchase TixCertificates, CDs, and shirts, with more coming soon.