If you have ever gone to see a play, you may have noticed theatre is the art of representing a story on a stage which usually lasts one or two hours. When you take a deeper look at it, however, you can discover that theatre is a very demanding art, and a very interesting way to provide not only entertainment, but also points of view and messages to an audience.
The word theatre comes from the Greek word "theatron", which might be translated as "a place (or space) for contemplation". Despite the fact it is an art, it is not uncommon to see plays representing the beliefs or wishes of the generation it is written. Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, is a clear example of this. The play has a lot of emotional tension, and the main character, Oedipus, fulfils all the prophecies upon him it doesn't matter how much he would have liked not to. This is because Ancient Greeks did not believe in any kind of afterlife, but they believed strongly in fate. If you remember your history lessons and see Oedipus the King under this light again, you will see why this play is still considered one of the best ever written. It goes beyond its own story. It shows the beliefs of its own time.
Theatre plays can be hilarious, bear tremendous emotional tension, or anything in between. This is why the international symbol of theatre are two masks —one smiling and the other about to cry.
Either case, you must know that taking part in a theatre play is not easy at all. Theatre is not cinema or television. There are not any recordings. If you are to act in a play four times a week for three months —plus rehearsals, which last a couple of additional months—, you cannot be absent any single day in the whole season as there will not be anybody there to replace you. A traffic jam will not be an excuse, neither a flu. You cannot forget a whole section of your script either.
Likewise, if your character needs to cry in act four, you will need to cry (or at the very least weep, most of the times literally) every single night on the stage at about the same hour and because of the same reason, once and again. Getting bored is not an option. Skipping the line is not an option either. Good actors are not a stroke of luck. They need a lot of preparation.
Lastly, taking part in a play requires a lot of team work too. This includes coordinating your moves on the stage with the rest of the cast, and considering the time you need both to move things and to change clothes, just to mention two things that will happen quite often during a play. It is really hard work, so it deserves its share of acknowledgement, admiration, and applauses, for sure.
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