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TALKING POINTS

Why you should add a little drama to your life

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There is something magical about going to the theatre. Even though we are living in the golden era of television, cinema and Netflix, there’s still nothing like the raw energy of a live performance. So why should you add a little drama to your life?

Firstly, unlike seeing a film on the big screen, no two performances are exactly the same with theatre. This is mainly due to the live interaction that manifests during each show. As the audience reacts to the actor’s performance – by laughing or applauding, for example – the actor will also respond to this interaction, creating an engaging experience for both sides. Brian Zeilinger, curator of the ArtisTree Selects: Theatre Bites festival and Tony Award-winning, West End and Broadway producer, can attest to this: “The audience member is able to develop a personal connection to the artist on stage without the barrier of a screen,” he says. “There is a way of making a story seem more ‘real’ when you’re a part of it.”
It you’re ever feeling stuck in a rut, an interesting play can open up your mind to new ideas, too. “People come [to the theatre] to be transported,” Zeilinger says. “They can escape their daily life and be inspired by the stories of others.” As you immerse yourself in a good theatre production, one with a strong plot, relatable characters and a unique perspective to tell the story, you’ll find yourself forgetting about any nagging problems, or your mundane everyday routine for a moment, and emerge feeling refreshed and re-energised, ready to tackle new challenges…

…which brings us to the next benefit of theatre: sparking creativity. “Theatre productions can provoke you to think differently,” he continues. Whether it’s a big production with elaborate costumes, set and props, or one that focuses solely on the actor, it requires you to use your imagination, and that helps reboot your creative mind. A great theatre piece also makes it easy for you to step into the shoes of the characters, inspiring you to consider an issue from a new perspective.

More than just entertainment, a play can leave you thinking long after the curtain falls. By highlighting human conflicts or issues in the plots, many plays inspire us to reflect on our personal relationships and the social issues around us. Take Zeilinger’s latest production, Sitting, to be staged at ArtisTree this month, which aims to speak to interpersonal connections and individual responsibilities as people. “I hope it will provoke thought and discussion,” Zeilinger says, in anticipation of the performance. “We as people thrive on and grow from the sharing of thoughts and ideas, and I think that’s one of the reasons why people keep coming back to the theatre – to be challenged intellectually.”

Want to spice up your day at Taikoo Place? See a bite-sized play at ArtisTree Selects: Theatre Bites at lunch or after work from 10 to 22 June!

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