One of the most amazing things about theatre is that it is something that can be enjoyed by a wide variety of people. There is a play or musical out there for everyone. Even more amazing than that is the impact that theatre has on people’s lives. My experience in working for a theatre company for adults with learning disabilities has shown me just how important theatre is in improving the quality of their lives.
Theatre is beautiful in the way that it helps us escape the reality of the real world. If you’re an audience member, you become intrigued about the lives and storylines of the characters on stage. You laugh with them, cry with them and feel with them. You forget about what is happening in your personal life for a couple of hours and enjoy looking into the life of other people. It is the same if you’re an actor. You leave your own life behind for a brief moment of time to become somebody else and tell their story. This escapism is so important to people who do not have the easiest life.
With my volunteer work, I have seen some of the biggest smiles on the faces of the actors that I believe I will ever see in my life. For them to be able to step away from reality and embody a character with completely different circumstances allows them to escape from the troubles they are having in their own lives. They can just let their hair loose, show off their talent and have fun. It is the same when they are watching their fellow cast members or another theatre production. The escapism that theatre brings is so important to them.
This has made me think about how much theatre impacts us all. Seeing their levels of happiness grow throughout the rehearsal process has been one of the most amazing things to witness. It just goes to show how much these other characters and storylines mean to us. No matter what is going on in our lives, we can just flick a switch in our head to turn all of that off and focus on somebody’s else’s story. Not only is it incredible for these people with learning disabilities, it benefits us all when we have something going on in our personal lives.
So, if you’re having a bad day, I suggest taking a trip to the theatre.