What is it about the performing arts that attracts people to live theater?
According to a survey by Nielsen Scarborough, more than 47 million Americans attended a theatrical production in 2016. Statista.com reported that in 2017, the average revenue generated from the sale of tickets at nonprofit theaters in United States was approximately $ 3.06 million.
Despite the ebb and flow of the economy, people are going to see live theater across the country from New York to Pilot Point. The theatrical performances explore every human experience, as well as historical figures and eras, with honesty and a sincere dedication to telling the event and portraying the characters as close to the truth as possible.
Across the country, community theaters are operating in various nooks and crannies as well as in city squares. They tackle the most famous musicals and plays, all kinds of favorite musicals, comedies and heartbreaking.
And they never get old. The tradition and exposure to live theater runs deep into the roots of each generation. People remember the first concerts they saw and the excitement that went with them. No one forgets the magic on stage of a favorite show.
“What do you think will come out of this?” This is the question I have often been asked when I tell longtime friends and former classmates from the Philippines that I have become a stage actress here in America. This is a question I have been thinking about for years. My answers still seem insufficient.
Yes, how do you explain the sheer joy of having fun on stage and giving back to the community and country that made your dreams come true?
The reasons for embracing live theater are as many and diverse as the people involved. Picasso best explained it: “The purpose of art is to wash away the dust of everyday life from your souls.” People from all walks of life come together for the magical experience of escaping into a fantasy world that only a live performance can offer.
For the people of the theater, that’s it. This is what we do every night for six to eight weeks to prepare for the show evenings. Then the audience is there. You are right in front of us. You watch us give it our all.
It’s our little contribution to humanity – to lighten the burden of life, to make you laugh, to stir that emotion that burns in you – whether it’s taunts for the bad guys, tears or cheers for the heroes. and (hopefully) applause for the cast.
Some nights we don’t want to go to rehearsal, but most of the time we just can’t wait to jump in, see the cast, and transform into the characters that we play. No matter how badly our day goes, going to rehearsal can change everything. Each brings enthusiasm to the director’s vision of the script and the show.
And it is only when the opening night curtain rises that we realize the magnitude of our sacrifices and what it means for us, our families, the community and you.
Jocelyn Allgood is a nurse manager of research at Sanger who has performed in various community theaters in North Texas. She wrote this column for the Dallas Morning News.