Week 3 Reflective Writing

I do think art and theater touch the human soul. In the discussion this week we agreed that theater by definition creates an intellectual response as well as an aesthetic/emotional response. Those two things are such a major part of who we are that I think they could be counted as the human soul. I also think we have art and movies and songs we use to help understand our emotions. I think theater and movies especially show the stories of people who may be in similar situations. Seeing a person go through what one is feeling is so validating and can really help you process and move on with life. Songs can share stories to, although they do so more vaguely and often strongly pulling on emotions. I think hearing someone else feel the same emotion that you are is both very validating and lets us sit in those feelings for a little bit.

The Inland Valley Repertory Theatre discussed that theater specifically creates “empathetic listeners” (article). If theater creates more empathy, it must affect us emotionally. For theater to change people in that way there must be more than just a story. Theater has been around in some for hundreds of years. There must be some value to it. Theater stayed when movies became commonplace. It must hold its own value and be more than just a story.

And like we discussed, theater is different from the movies because you get to see the art and the story coming together. In a way, you’re part of the experience. Hearing the reaction of other audience members, their gasps and cries, it’s part of watching live theater. No two shows will ever be the same because of that ever-changing audience. Only the performing arts do this, and theater is the one that also shares the clearest stories. Theater has a very wide range of content, from comedies to drama, to those that look at social ideas or history. If we couldn’t tell those stories and make people want to see them, those shows wouldn’t be happening and people must go because of the unique experience theater provides.

word count: 358

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