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BWW Blog: Dear Live Theater

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BWW Blog: Dear Live Theater

Dear Live Theater,
While many were treated to the debut of the Hamilton film this weekend on Disney+, I
couldn't help but yearn to return to you. It has been nearly 4 months since most people have been able to see a live theatrical production or perform on stage for a live audience.

Theaters have begun to adapt with creative solutions: releasing archived footage,
streaming readings over Zoom, performing for audiences with limited capacities. It is wonderful that we have been able to begin experiencing art again, however, theatrical experiences are inevitably impacted by the severity of the pandemic. I long for the day when we can all be together again with you, high kicking onstage, shoulder to shoulder, or sitting in a room of a thousand strangers, all experiencing the same moving story on stage. I understand that these realities may well be a long way off, but a boy can dream.

The safety concerns of this pandemic are still very real (Wear! Your! Mask!) so no one
should be rushing to fill the seats of a theater (although some people have started bringing you plants instead!). I merely lament your hiatus while we patiently await your return.

I hope that these recorded and streamed productions continue, though they can never replace the experience of seeing you in all your beauty. These theatrical alternatives are a fantastic way to stay engaged and I have utilized many of them while I have been stuck at home. When it comes down to it though, theater is meant to be experienced live. It is that central component which separates you from the other guys, the arts of film and television.

I fell in love with you when I was just four years old and we've been in a pretty
committed relationship ever since. The uncertainty of our return to mainstream theater is frightening, quite honestly. I've heard echoes that you may never return fully to your former glory, the way you once were. I don't want to believe that, but I have to admit that the thoughts of "what if..." have crossed my mind. But I believe in you.

You've been around for thousands of years and I don't think you're going anywhere. One of my favorite things about you is that you unite people and people will definitely need that community as we are on the mend.

While all this has given you some time to rest and us some time to reflect, there are some things we should learn. Let's face it, you can be elitist at times. Online theatrical experiences have made theater more accessible, giving opportunities to people who have never been able to see you before. Going forward, we need to focus our efforts on accessibility and inclusion so that everyone has the chance to enjoy you. BIPOC creators, performers, and audience members have not been represented for too long and we all need to make changes right now, you included, and we have to listen to those leading the fight. I hope that when you return, you've grown and you're even better than before. We all need you and miss you. I miss you. I can't wait to see you
soon.

Love,
Matthew


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From This Author Student Blogger: Matthew Green