Why the theatre will never end

What if I told you I had never been to the theatre? You wouldn't believe me, and that would be absolutely right. At least I wouldn't talk about the destiny of the theatre without knowing what it is like. In March 2019 I went to see a Pushkin play. Just before the show commenced one man had got up on the stage and told the audience they were attending a performance on World Theatre Day. I was struck – how come it was World Theatre Day and I didn't even have the smallest clue about it? Upon reflection, I supposed that my case wasn't unique. There are a lot of people whose life is not connected with drama and hence such a celebration would be entirely new to them. It is a great pity. But then I realized that the 2019 was designated as a Year of Theatre in my country. Therefore, by a good fortune I had ended up at the theatre on the World Theatre Day in the Russian's Year of Theatre. What a coincidence! During his speech, the speaker in the theatre mentioned a common opinion: that the film industry will never replace the theatre. - Why? Because theatre actors show us real and natural emotions while in movies it feels fake. Being honest, I can't agree with him. Without any doubt the theatre is the field of live emotions, and will be around for many more years to come. But can we really call on-screen actors fake? Don't you believe Leonardo DiCaprio in that legendary scene from Titanic when Jack and Rose are standing on the ship bow, enjoying the magnificent orange sunset together? I bet its famous background music is probably already playing in your head, right? But I have another answer to the question what distincts plays from the films so much. What will ensure the longevity of the theatre is its simplicity. Its unpretentiousness. The more films I watch, the more I understand that I don't need that immaculate make up on the artists' skin, I don't need that detailed colour correction of the picture, I don't want to see all those sprawling cinematic shots anymore. I want to see the actor from his head to toes, so I can pay attention to the details I want to, and not to be fixed to what the director wants me to notice. I want to see incomplete sets, so my imagination can fill in the gaps, or, on the opposite, they won't distract me from the action. I want to appreciate actors' movements on the stage, to see how they leave to the backstage to change clothes or grab some props. The theatre is so joyful to me because it's all happening in a real time mode. Right in front of me. With the one and only take. Moreover, we can't disagree that theatre shows are always unique. Even if it seems not so dynamic or too uncomplicated to you, you will never see the same performance twice. “But what if an actor messes up the words, for example?” - you may ask. Well, I truly believe that the lack of chance to redo something makes the performance even more special and sincere. It gives a show that lifelike realness. You know what also diverge a theatre show from a film? A possibility to interact with the audience. Fairly recently people have came out with a new type of play – the immersive show. I don't know who invented it, but I'm sure they are genius. During such performances viewers are literally on a working stage, actors walking among them, interacting and bringing them into the action. I was once honored to dance with Daisy and to have a small talk with the Great Gatsby himself! No “immerse yourself in the moment and escape into the film with our newest 3D technology” can beat the real thing. But even with the physical limits of our reality, creative solutions may still be found. In that Pushkin's play for one short scene a dog character was need to be played. So, what did the director do? He gave an artist a furry jacket which he used as a hand-doll and barked himself. Funny, untypical and definitely memorable. Combining all these facts, a cinematography can't replace the theatre, however, the theatre can't replace it either. After all, we watch plays with our own eyes, while films we watch with the director's vision. And that is why I state that the theatre is eternal.

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