A Tiny List of Life Lessons We Learn From Theatre
I once heard someone cringe at the thought of their child studying theatre. The sciences are what they deemed worthy. Or law. Or business. Or anything other than a creative life. And while there is nothing wrong with the professions listed above, too often we scoff at the idea of a career in the entertainment industry (all the while returning home to fill our souls with Hamilton on Disney Plus, and Netflix, and whatever soundtrack fits our mood at the moment.
Theatre, at its core, has never been about the school musical. It’s bigger than Broadway, too. When you think about it, theatre teaches us life lessons that can extend far beyond the reach of the stage lights.
Here are twelve of them:
1. Make a choice, and own that choice. If you want to move, move. If you’re full of emotion, express it. Theatre is a series of choices — and so is life.
2. Remember that it’s ok to laugh amidst the drama. Even the darkest stories have a bit of light — and that’s true in life, too. Learn to live in both spaces and revel in the teachings that each can bring.
3. Try — especially after you fail. It’s natural to be afraid to fail, but it’s also ok to do so. For through failure, we become better.
4. Don’t be afraid to stand in your light. Stand tall, stand proud.
5. Speak with intention. That’s a cardinal rule in theatre, and it should carry into our daily lives, too. Choose your words carefully, and mean what you say.
6. Collaboration is critical — it takes a village to put on a theatrical production. Again, collaboration is something to extend far beyond the rehearsal room. How much more positive would our lives be if we knew how to collaborate instead of competing?
7. Listen. If we listened as we did onstage, I imagine that there would be far fewer problems in this world.
8. See the humanity in the story. The heartbeat of humanity pulses with the desire to be seen, loved, and heard — so see people, listen to people, love people — with their flaws and all.