Saturday, April 14, 2012

Why I Take My Daughter to the Theater

Tonight, Paul, Juliana and I are going to the Guthrie Theater to see HAY FEVER by Noel Coward. It's a comedy about an eccentric family and their weekend guests. The reviews say it's very funny.

Humor is great after a long week.

But that's not why I bring my daughter to the theater.

I bring her because I want her to see real people creating characters and situations right before our eyes.

I want her to see the complicated dance of actors playing off each other.

I want her to see the tremendous physicality of acting.

I want her to see human emotions up close and personal. But from a safe place.

I want her to be dramatically literate. To be familiar with classic and new theatrical productions. To enjoy new musicals like MEMPHIS as much as Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. To wonder, could I do that on stage? Could I create those awesome costumes? Could I direct a group of actors?

For many years I was a drama teacher. I've taught grades 1-12. Theater is an amazing, equalizing endeavor. Kids who might not be great in their academic classes, might shine on stage. Or kids who love to draw might excel at stage design. Kids who love organization, and being "behind the scenes", might enjoy stage direction.

Theater is a real-world application of creative abilities.

Even if my daughter never performs on stage or never designs a costume, she will have an appreciation for live theater that only comes from seeing it, hearing it, breathing it.

So tonight, I expect we will laugh ourselves silly. And I can't wait. Being a part of a group of strangers, all sitting together with a purpose - to watch and enjoy - and all laughing or gasping or crying together. It's pretty darn amazing.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful night you had! My drama teacher in high school was amazing, and was able to pull great performances from the least likely kids, I bet you were the same.