BWW Blog: The Importance of Seeing Theatre
Hello again everyone, and welcome to my third blog post for BroadwayWorld! This week I wanted to talk about an idea that I've thought a lot about recently, and that is the impact that the shows I have seen have had on me over the years. Especially since coming to college, I have found that there is a lot of pressure to be involved in shows and going to see shows outside of the performances at Muhlenberg is not as emphasized or encouraged. Students go to see the different Muhlenberg productions, which are always well-done, but for me, I find it just as helpful to see shows outside of Muhlenberg.
Many people that I have gotten to know at Muhlenberg got into theatre by participating in shows at a very young age, but my exposure to theatre began when my grandma took me to see shows at high schools in my area. For years, theatre was just something I went to go see, and it wasn't until I went to middle school that I started actually getting involved in it.
Of course, I was incredibly fortunate that there is so much great theatre, even high school theatre, in the area where I grew up, and I live close enough to New York City that I am able to catch a Broadway show every once in a while. However, even in the Lehigh Valley surrounding Muhlenberg, I have been lucky enough to see several fantastic shows since I came to the school last fall.
As an aspiring director trying to figure out my own directing style, I have found that the more I have learned about directing since coming to Muhlenberg, the more I have been able to learn what aspects of each production work and which do not. The shows that I have seen during my lifetime have all, in some capacity, inspired me to find my own vision for the shows I want to direct in the future. When I go to see shows, especially ones that I know I want to direct someday, I find myself thinking about how I would direct each scene.
Since I won't be able to take a directing class until most likely my junior year here at Muhlenberg, these thought-provoking shows are the ways in which I have learned how to direct so far. I have been lucky enough to be able to have been able to put my limited directing knowledge into practice twice so far at Muhlenberg through the two one act plays that I directed during my freshman year. During the rest of my time at Muhlenberg, I hope to see as many shows throughout the Lehigh Valley as I can.
I think theatre students at Muhlenberg, myself included, put so much pressure on themselves to be physically involved in shows because they believe that is the only way they can practically learn. For actors, I can completely understand this mentality, but I think it could be helpful for directors to gather inspiration. In addition, I find it extremely enjoyable to simply go out and enjoy theatre. After all, that's what I've been doing for over half of my life, and it's a nice break from the stress of college to go out and see a show! They serve as wonderful learning opportunities, and for me, they serve as a reminder of why I decided to study theatre in the first place.