When I decided to come to ACU as a theater major, I was blessed with supportive friends and family, however, countless people have still questioned what I’ll do with it, or act surprised.
Though I wonder why fewer people see the fine arts as a pursuable career path in today’s culture, it seems to be getting harder to find people willing to support them.
As a theater major, I get to see a different side of the university – the side that brings artistic dreams to life by telling stories. Being in this department means more than that, though. It means that we as artists, but also as a community and a university, should use our opportunities to bring people together.
I believe in theater, because it provides opportunities for incredibly important discussions about topics that people don’t always enjoy bringing up. Shows are usually not simply put on for fun. Quite often, they have deeper themes that the writer and director wish to convey.
Bringing this concept to life is one of the jobs of an actor, and it is no easy task.
When an audience watches a show, it develops a special, intimate and emotional connection with the performers. People may come to the theater simply expecting to enjoy a show that takes them away from the routine uniformity of their day-to-day activities, but the connection they leave with is deeper than that.
Shows like each year’s Cornerstone production have themes that are easily identifiable and promote discussion, but part of the fun of going to any show is dissecting it after it ends. My family always talks through our thoughts after each show we see together.
Even shows like Seussical, this year’s 24-Hour Musical, have underlying metaphors that the directors work into their conceptual visions. Directors want something to stick with everyone who sees a show.
Sure, I lean toward defending theater because of my personal bias. After all, I am pursuing a theater degree because I love creating art. However, I also try to acknowledge the important work that others do in their fields.
Support can be circular – showing someone that you care about what they do can encourage them to show the same support to you.
Everyone deserves credit where it is due, so rather than tell people their jobs are “easy” or dismissing the work people put into doing what they love, we should respect that work, no matter what field it is in.