As the saying goes, we don’t fully appreciate what we have until it’s gone. For theatre lovers, the closure of non-essential businesses over the past several months meant the end of experiencing art in its purest form - in a dark auditorium filled with other eager, bright-eyes and curious souls excited to witness the magic of storytelling on stage.
For artists and crew members, it meant a year of suspense - a curtain call that never came. It meant not only leaving our craft, our creative outlet, our vision in a state of frozen animation - a story that never came to life under the spotlights - it meant we lost our connection with both our stage-sharing family and our family filling the seats - our audience. You.
For you, dear audience, it meant meet-ups and evenings spent with family and friends cancelled and rescheduled indefinitely. It meant we no longer had this fantastical escape from the mundane and we missed out on adventures and discovering new forms of expression, and lyrics that make our hearts sing. Going to the theatre was not just a one-night experience, it represented memories that we reminisced and re-lived every time we recounted our night as the audience, witnessing history being made before our eyes.
Today, it’s hard to remember much of the past couple years besides endless weeks stuck at home wishing that the world was open for socializing again - open for struggling to share the armrest with the stranger sitting next to you in the crowd. It feels like it’s been forever - what do we actually do anymore? Do we still have hobbies? It’s hard to say if that daily breath of fresh air to the local coffee shop counts as a hobby... but past audience-members can rarely say their time in the theatre was forgettable. Eyes full of wonder, ears pounding with excitement, lungs eagerly singing along to familiar showtunes. When it comes to theatre, we can proudly say:
Our lives are made up of stories - those we experience, those we watch and witness, and those we share with one another.
The past year and a half proved that the stories we share through the arts and media break the monotony of working, studying and being stuck at home - more than ever, we learned that they bring us together, and unite our communities, giving us a brand new appreciation for music, art, acting, and film. The emotions, the sets, costumes and lighting design all contribute to the fine details of the stories that are essential to our happiness - just as you, the audience, are essential to them as well.
While you wait for your safe return to the theatre, here are three great ways to make sure that storytelling remains a part of your life:
1. Listen to a theatrical podcast
If you've never listened to a Podcast before, the experience can be much like visiting an auditory theatre. Whether you're into finance 'how-to's or fictional investigative journalism, at the heart of any good podcast is the ability to tell engaging stories.
Here are some of our recommendations for great dramatic podcasts that are sure to keep you at the edge of your seat:
2. Play a storytelling game
Living with family? friends? roommates?
Try bringing the magic of theatre straight into your living room through a fun and hilarious board games! Here's one of our favourites:
In this classic fairy tale themed board-game, players tell a story based on random topics and try to steer the plot towards their secret conclusion. Ideal for 2-6 players.
3. Write a story
Easier said than done, right? The reality is that we live through reader-worthy stories every single day. So why not write one down? Start by thinking of something that surprised you, or changed your mind, a way you overcame a challenge, or an incident that made you laugh. Likely, if something had an impact on your life, it's interesting enough to be written and to be read. You don't have to be a published author to write a story - all you need is an idea and some patience. The rest will follow.
Check out these 10 Tips for Writing Great Short Stories!
And stay tuned as we announce some of our writing workshop and contests at the end of the month!
We can't wait to welcome you back to our shows and to share new stories with you once more! But meanwhile, let us know in the comments if you've tried any of our recommendations! We'd love to hear from you!