Why Live Theater is Better Than the Movies

People have been telling stories for thousands of years. Since the 6th century BC live theater has been a part of cultures all around the world. With today’s technology these stories are being told through another medium as well, movies. It seems that many people tend to go to the movies over live theater nowadays. Maybe they like the anonymity and comfort of a movie theater, maybe it’s the allure of Hollywood, maybe they like what movies are able to produce due to technology better, or maybe they just think that live theater is boring. Whatever the reason, it’s safe to say that the amount of people who go see live theater today has significantly declined from even 100 years ago. But there are still so many reasons to love live theater. Here are a few reasons why:

Immediacy

What you’re seeing in front of you during a live theater is just that, live. In the movies they can re-do a scene as many times as they want in order to get it right. But in live theater that’s just not an option. The lingering thought that something could go wrong makes watching it live that much more exciting than watching something on screen. At the end of a show when everything went perfectly it makes the show that much better.

Talent

In line with immediacy, actors in the movies have the chance to re-do something as many times as they need in order to get it right. Actors on stage don’t have that opportunity. They have one chance to get it right. The acting has to be flawless in order to pull off a good show. Therefore you’re seeing a higher standard of acting in live performances as compared to on screen.

In live theater actors have to do everything themselves from stunts, to singing to acting and everything in between. You can’t have a stunt double come in and do your stunts for you or utilize CGI. You can’t dub your voice and have someone else sign for you. As a result live theater actors tend to be multi talented.

Powerful storytelling

Typically movies aren’t shot in sequence. They are filmed over a long period of time and actors usually don’t have any idea what the final product will look like until it’s complete. Live theater actors, on the other hand, completely understand the entire narrative of their performance. They have rehearsed the show in the exact same order time and time again. Knowing what is going to happen in every scene helps live theater actors tell a more compelling story.  

The atmosphere

Just being in the theater with the actors and watching them perform right in front of you adds something to your experience. The actors know that you’re there and are performing for you as opposed to in the movies when they are acting for the camera. The excitement and energy in the audience is completely different than in a movie theater.  

Sound quality

Simply put, live singing and live music is significantly better than what you hear in the movies. It’s a higher quality performance.

Meet and greet

After live shows if you wait outside the stage door for a few minutes you have the opportunity to meet the actors. You can usually take pictures with them, get autographs and sometimes even have a conversation. Many live theater actors, especially ones at smaller productions, love coming outside to talk to the audience after a show. After a movie, however, Leonardo DiCaprio won’t be standing outside the theater for a meet and greet.

Variety

There are so many different types of plays that tell so many different types of stories. You can really never be sure what to expect when it comes to live theater. Sometimes the actors come out and interact with the audience. The staging is always incredible and different. Every live theater show that you attend will always be different and unexpected making it that much more exciting.

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