I’ve been attending theatre classes since I was 9. It’s quite funny because I’m shy and I don’t really like attention. When I was 13, I started attending a new theatre class because I didn’t like what we did in the previous one and also my friend Veronika was there.
I fell in love with this theatre class. We were a great group of people, we didn’t only attend classes together but we threw parties, played games, we were hanging out. We’ve had a great teacher who’s more like a friend to me now and thanks to him, I started seeing theatre from a totally new perspective. I’m not going to attend the theatre classes next year because of my high school graduation and so I would like to sum up what I love about theatre and why.
1. IT BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER.
Theatre is about people gathering in one single room and sharing one single thing together. Both sides are equaly important – the spectators and the actors. The spectators need the actors so they could watch them and the actors need the spectators so they could be watched. The fact that all of those people are together makes it feel kind of special – to me, it always feels like we all have something in common and we are all the same after all, despite the differences.
There is something fascinating about theatre. When you watch a movie, you don’t really share the moment with the actors. But when it comes to theatre… there is so much energy shooting all across the room. There is an interaction between people, whether it is a visible or audible one or just a feeling. I really like that about theatre – all those people enjoying that precise moment that is happening here and now.
2. IT LEAVES YOU ROOM FOR FANTASY AND CREATIVITY
While watching a movie, we don’t really have to use our imagination. Everything is in front of us, all the colours, all the backgrounds, all the effects. But while watching a play, we must bring our fantasy in, we must picture things. After a while, the black background becomes a mountain covered in snow and the floor in front of the actors becomes a cliff. Theatre makes us use our fantasy and creativity, we don’t just passively stare and accept everything without a blink of an eye.
From the actor’s point of view, rehearsing is a really creative activity that forces us to use our imagination all the time.
3. IT’S A GOOD WAY OF EXPRESSING OUR OPINIONS
There are lots of times when people want to shout out their opinion, when they want to let the world know what they think. Theatre is a great way to do this. By making a play about something we care about, we share the idea and the opinion with other people. And it might even make them change their mind about some topics because seeing people in action is always more persuasive than just talking.
4. IT CAN BE RELATABLE
What do we love more than watching somebody who has the same problem as we do? It doesn’t matter if it’s a serious problem or just a random thing that happens to us in every day life – it’s always great to know that we are not alone in this.
5. IT’S GOOD FOR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Watching or doing theatre gives us new point of views, new angles, new approches to problems in life and to life itself. It opens our mind to new possibilites and sometimes, it might even help us with solving our own personal problems. It makes us think about topics that we would never even think of wondering about, it forces us to use our brains and to examine the play that we’re just watching. Theatre develops our personality and our mind.
6. WE CAN RELAX
Watching a comedy or an improvisation show, for example, can make us relax and turn ourselves off for a moment. We don’t have to deal with our own problems because we have the chance to focus on something completely different. Everybody needs to relax sometimes – and why not do it by being surrounded by a great atmosphere and funny people?
7. THEATRE FESTIVALS
We have been to so many theatre festivals with our plays. In the Czech Republic, this sort of festivals is very common because there are many people who don’t do theatre profesionally, but like amateurs.
The festivals always have an amazing friendly atmosphere and during a few days, you can see many various plays by many various people. There is often time for discussions after a few plays and that is just awesome. People are sitting in a circle and there is usually some ‘jury’ made of experienced people. They say their opinions about the plays and thanks to that, the actors can improve themselves and make the play better. The audience can talk as well and it’s all about expressing our opinions and really analyzing the piece of art we have seen. I like this part since I feel like just listening to other people has made my rhetoric skills and the way of saying my thoughts out loud much better.
8. I’VE GAINED CONFIDENCE
This is a personal one – two years ago, I got a main role in one of our plays. I really wanted it but I didn’t expect that it would be so hard for me. I remember being stressed out before every single lesson because I was so scared of too much attention. I felt horrible. Once I even started crying in the middle of a rehearsal because I just couldn’t handle it.
But you know what? It got better. And better. With every performance I felt more assured that what I was doing was alright, with every performance I gained confidence. I started looking into the spectators’ eyes while I was talking. I stopped shivering so much. I didn’t feel like I would throw up any second anymore.
And since then, I have been gaining more and more confidence. I’m not that afraid of public speaking anymore. I believe in myself more. And theatre has helped me to reach this, to overcome my anxiety and fear of attention (not for 100% but it’s so much better than before). To be honest, I’ve been attending those theatre classes not just because I like acting, but also because I’ve wanted to get rid off my fear. And it really did help.
That would be all for this post, I hope you liked it and remember: If you have bad experience with theatre because you’ve seen only not-so-good plays or because you’ve attended classes that you didn’t like, please give it another chance! There are so many reaaally good plays out there that are worth watching and so many reaaally good teachers that can show you what theatre is really about. The authenticity. The genuineness. The passion.