Why Do We Gravitate Towards Comedies or Drama?

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Cristina D'Almeida

When people sit in a theater and watch a show, they usually do it for the entertainment or sometimes just to get away. It’s an escape for a lot of people. It could be a concert, musical, play or even a cabaret show. Regardless of what it is, it adds something that’s maybe missing in a person’s life. So, there is definitely that personal aspect to theatre that a lot of people might forget about. There is always reasoning behind our choices.

The two distinct types of productions that automatically come to mind for me are comedies and dramas, and people usually gravitate towards one or another, or sometimes both. They’re polar opposites, but I love that range between the two and think it’s amazing that theatre produces these two categories and provides that range. You can literally see shows based on what kind of mood you’re in and I think this is another reason people gravitate towards live theatre, similar to films.

Let’s say a person is going through something on a personal level for example. They might be a little depressed or lonely, kind of in a sad mood or just in a funk they can’t shake. If they’re a theatre lover and go to the theater to get their mind off of what’s going on in their lives, they might gravitate more towards a comedy, something to make them laugh. What is an actual comedy?

According to literarydevices.net, a comedy is a literary drama and a type of dramatic work that is amusing and satirical in its tone, mostly having a cheerful ending. So, even though comedies are meant to be funny, it’s still considered a dramatic work. Some people absolutely love comedies. They live for comedies. They find enjoyment in laughing and that in itself can change a person’s entire mood. Comedies save people’s minds in a lot of ways. It’s that relief and escape from the dark thoughts they have, that laughter a joke or funny scene can bring, that helps a person get through their life. It’s a way to cope. Some of the best comedians out there might be sad or depressed internally. Don’t ever mistake comedies as something less significant as a drama. It might be a little more light and fluffy than other shows, but it’s still brilliance and hard work up on that stage. Some of the best plays and musicals out there are comedies. It takes a lot of work to perfect jokes and it is truly an art.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have dramas. This is a whole other animal. What is a drama? According to thoughtco.com, a drama is the portrayal of fictional or non-fictional events in theater, film, radio, or television. What I would add to that, is dramas are usually more serious works. This is where tragedies come in to play. Why would a person choose a drama to see? There are many reasons and answers to that question. The first thought that comes to my mind is people want to watch something that moves them, something that they find to be heartfelt or heart wrenching, something they can immerse themselves in. Like comedies, people who have a tough life might go to a drama to get away. Maybe it makes their life seem not as bad, or maybe they find relevance in what they’re watching. Dramas can be the most personal and mental works of art that you’ve ever watched. It’s almost like therapy. Actually, for some, it is.

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to perform a dramatic part. Many times, just like the audience members, the actors find relevance in the characters they’re playing, and that’s something that helps them along. Maybe they channel something deep within that relates them to the character. It’s always a mental challenge.

No matter what you choose to see in the theatre, it’s always going to give you that escape for two hours and that’s the beautiful part about live theatre. Comedies and dramas might be totally different styles, but I definitely dip my toe in the two. I have a love for each and find great brilliance, satisfaction, and beauty in each art.