6 Reasons Why Spending Time at the Theater Benefits You

6 Reasons Why Spending Time at the Theater Benefits You

Before there were movie theaters, there were… well, theaters.

Performers acting on stage in front of a live audience, without the surround sound systems, moving pictures, and overpriced snacks we associate with movie theaters today. But it’s no mistake that traditional theaters continue to survive despite stolen audiences and competition from movies.

If you’re not already an avid theatergoer, it may be difficult to understand the magic of theater over watching a movie at home or in the cinema. To help show the importance of theater, here are six reasons why so many audiences love watching theater performances.

1. More Intimate than Watching a Movie

Seeing the performers act out their roles directly in front of us offers a sense of connection and relatability that is hard to describe in words. The way we connect to live actors differs from how we respond to pre-recorded movies. Research has shown that these simple, shared experiences are more intense than solitary ones.

2. Each Performance is Unique

Even if we attend a performance of the same play or musical multiple times, there will be slight variations between each performance. The artistry of theater is encompassed by how it exists in a single moment. Not even a DVD recording can replicate the unique experience of sitting in the audience for that moment.

3. Social Experience

When we attend a theater performance, we are actually sharing an experience with the actors on stage and our fellow audience members. It is a social experience that promotes silent human interaction through the way the actors express themselves onstage and through the way we relate to their performances.

If we choose to take pieces of the play home with us, talking about it with family and friends, it also promotes intellectual discussions of writing, art, and culture.

4. Cultural Experience

Plays are often one of three things: a reflection of our current culture, based on history or old stories, or a chance to experience a culture we may not have seen before. Large performance venues tend to offer a variety of shows, ranging from musicals to folk dance performances to kabuki theater. It all depends on what is available in your area, and what is in the theater’s budget to host.

5. Support the Arts

By attending theater performances, your money helps support the arts. Your ticket raises money for musicians, dancers, actors, writers, set designers, technicians, and everyone else who played a role in making the production happen.

6. Lighten Our Moods

Art is beneficial to our mental and emotional well-being. Attending a theater performance in particular is a low-stress activity that provides us time to decompress and re-orientate our mental state by focusing on other things. Many of the previously listed points co-mingle to create an experience that lightens our mood.

In addition to these six reasons, theater performances are family-friendly experiences. Live theater was, for many years, an important component of human culture – a way to pass down legends and stories, to learn about historical events, and to bond with others. It stretches the imagination and promotes creativity in both the actors, who must respond to the audience’s reactions, and the audience themselves, who are experiencing the performance.