The Art of Theatre By: Miranda Grisa

Main Stage production of “Alice in Wonderland”

I always wondered why people questioned whether or not theatre is truly a form of art.

I remember on the first day of exploratory art class this trimester, the teacher told us to write down if we thought we personally viewed ourselves as artists. Sometime after the bell signaling the end of class had rung, I was talking to a fellow thespian about their answer.

My friend had answered no, claiming an ineptitude with a pencil and art brush blocked the images in their head from transferring onto paper, therefore they could not be artists.

Alex Gieske as Eurydice in "Eurydice"
Black Box production of “Eurydice”

When I reminded them of their skills in theatre, they looked at me as if my hair was on fire. Clearly there was something wrong with my inclusion of theatre as a form of art.

According to Merriam Webster, however, the definition of art is: “something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings.” In light of that revelation, I challenge society to reform their views of traditional ‘art’ to include theatre.

This past year the Theatre Department created ten shows (four main stage productions and six black box shows): we had the imagination to build worlds and the skill to bring them to life in such a way that they told stories, connecting with the audience and passing along important concepts,  ideals, and emotions.

Main Stage production of "Arabian Nights"
Main Stage production of “Arabian Nights”

Yet humanity consistently brushes off the importance and magnitude of the theatre. When someone says ‘artist’, people think of Picasso or Monet, not Tom Cruise or Audrey Hepburn. Granted, their mediums vary, but beyond the differences in expression, are there really so many differences between artists and actors/actresses?

Both unite personal imagination and skill to reach other humans, teaching one heart at a time to dance at a slightly different rhythm, allowing others to view the world with a slightly different perspective, the audience walking away a little different than they entered.

So to those who say that “theatre isn’t a real art” -including my friend-  I would have to respectfully disagree. Theatre not only meets but also contributes greatly to every possible boundary people attempt to place on the various forms of art.

So, in response to my friend’s claim that “acting doesn’t count as a real art,” I now have an answer. How could theatre be anything but a form of art?

By Miranda Grisa
3rd Trimester 2015
Theatre Production Seminar

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