Why We Still Need Theatre

Stories still matter. It still matters that, as a culture that we sit down and pay attention to the story in front of us, unfolding in real time across a shared field of vision. It matters that we learn how to listen to stories that only touch us because we share humanity. There are so many ways to hear each other; in a live setting with no stops, there’s no choice but to learn to listen to the story being told on the terms it will be heard. 

More than that, as a culture, we need to learn how to tell our own stories. Over the years, stories have been silenced. Within the walls of a theatre, a story is told and heard. Telling a story is a skill of listening just as much a skill of speaking. It’s about learning how to say what can’t be said, in learning to speak of what we try our best to ignore in ourselves. It’s a double responsibility: the teller speaks in words that can be heard, maybe for the first time, and the listener has to be willing to learn the language of the show and hear what it might have to say. 

And, of course, we need to enjoy ourselves. People need something that makes life fun. There’s nothing quite like seeing people perform live. There’s nothing like knowing that the world will wait. For now, there’s a story to tell, and a story to hear. The news is bad, but we can still tell stories. Life isn't easy, but we can still find a reason to love it in the quiet of listening to each other and watching a story unfold.