Recently, I was talking to my boyfriend, and we realised that we hadn’t spent any quality time in the past month. So I looked up online and found a couple of listings for plays, and that got me thinking… when was the last time I went for a play?
I remember some of my friends who were invested in theatre and were a part of the circuit. I decided to call them up and ask them about the theatre scene and how it was going. What I heard saddened me. They said that the theatre circuit was trying hard to revive their art but in vain. All around the world, the theatre has suffered majorly in the hands of the film industry. With the birth of feature films, short films, documentaries, and other films, the theatre has endured a considerable loss.
A vast number of theatres has been shut down in the previous year, and the ones that survive are in deplorable conditions. This has led to a considerable loss in a culture, which is irrevocable. Nowadays, most people find it more comfortable and/or convenient to take their date out for a movie. Cinema is valued and appreciated, but somewhere down the line, theatre has lost its importance in the lives of people.
Open air theatreI have always loved theatre, simply because theatre has a more realistic approach. It is spontaneous and makes the audience feel like they’re a part of the action. But people are moving far away from the theatre, and one of the reasons may be the fact that quite often tickets are highly-priced. The general mentality of people is that instead of going for a play, at a rundown theatre, they could go for a critically acclaimed film at the same price. Some people who are extremely invested in theatre are unable to actively be a part of this beautiful art, simply because they cannot afford the tickets.
The rarity of the theatre can make it an extraordinary idea for a date. Though it is not a very conventional idea for a date and therefore, much more personal. You can imagine going to a play at one of the oldest theatres in the city, and then walking down the quaint streets of Calcutta and going for dinner afterward. I won’t lie, but the very idea made me sigh in contentment.
Watching a play jolts one into reality
Theatre serves the purpose of connecting with its audiences and allows them to take a good hard look at themselves. It jolts one into reality as they break the fourth wall and shakes you up and provides room for further introspection. You can tell a lot about a person by observing how they react to a specific play. Theatre can move a person without using any special effects. It does so on its own, based solely on the script, direction and acting.
Taking your date to a play is refreshing, and it also allows you to know them better as you discuss the effects of the play yourselves. However, it is heartbreaking to know that while several plays have been adapted into films and been applauded by people, the original performances have never been seen. If we look at a popular book series, like Harry Potter, it must be noted that the seven books were made into films and watched all over the world. However, the play, ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,’ didn’t receive the viewership that the rest of the books received partially because it was a play and it wasn’t available to people all over the world. This affects me on a personal level because I happen to be an ardent fan of the Harry Potter series.
The theatres are striving to remain alive!
There has been a very prominent shift in the viewership from theatre to films. Many people who are involved in the theatre circuit have told me that some very talented actors have shifted from doing theatre to movies because many of them are underpaid in theatre. There has been a considerable decrease in the number of plays that are showcased these days. Theatres are now in terrible conditions due to a lack of funds. The appalling state of the theatres acts as a deterrent for people, along with the high prices of the tickets. The low footfall also leads from little to no marketing and the degradation of theatre continues.
As a theatre lover myself, I am confident about the fact that as long as we have people who love theatre, it will not die. However, it is crucial to improve the state of theatres and make it more affordable for people to enjoy this enchanting form of art. Theatre is not dying, but it is struggling and striving to remain alive.