"What is the purpose of theatre?"

Charc

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Feb 14, 2007
That was the question my classmate was asked while interviewing at NYU/Tisch.

She can't remember the answer she gave, she said it caught her off guard, and it was really rambly. However, the interviewer said he really liked her response and it was an interesting perspective.

I thought perhaps some of you would find the question interesting and want to take a stab at it. Or, do you think it's a bad question for an interview?

~Charlie
 

Marius

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Feb 25, 2007
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Tampa, FL
Theatre has/had many purposes. It started as religious ceremony, then branched off into social and political commentary. It can be educational, entertaining, or off-putting. It can be the highest and lowest form of art. And even though folks tend to trivialize it, there is some form of theatre in just about every culture that has ever existed on this planet. It's purpose is expression, communication, and entertainment, and probably a hundred more things that don't immediately leap to mind. And it also keeps the beer brewers and anti-depressant companies out of bankruptcy.
IMHO, of course. :)
 

len

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Chicagoland
I think I might have said it serves the same purpose as every other art form, and that is different for every person.
 

Grog12

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I think I might have said it serves the same purpose as every other art form, and that is different for every person.
And this is exactly what the person doing the interview was getting at.

They want to know what the interviewee thinks theatre is and to see their perspective/ point of view on the whole mess of our buisness.
 

bobgaggle

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Nov 19, 2007
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Philadelphia, PA
the purpose of theatre.

I think the underlying reason for theatre, at least from the audience's perspective, is to find catharsis or escape from the monotonous routine of their every day lives. They go see The Sound of Music for a happily ever after, they see Les Mis for a dramatic story of overcoming odds and finding redemption. Theater can help an audience to feel and experience any of the myriad human emotions.
 

Spikesgirl

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Mar 3, 2008
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CA
To entertain, enlighten and inform. There are some messages best spoken from the stage. Even religion had to bow to it as a way to enlighten the masses at a time when very little else was within the grasp of the common person by speaking to us in a common language.

For me, personally, it's a way to put food on the table, pay the rent and still be able to look at myself in the mirror without feeling like I sold out. It gives me a sense of pride and purpose when I get up and a sense of accomplishment when I go to bed.

(the other) Charlie
 

What Rigger?

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PPT.
Did a show years n' years ago called "Night Rehearsal" and one of the characters had a line dealing with this same question and the answer was brilliant (and probably stolen from Marlowe):

"...to hold the mirror up to reality...."

And that'll be the answer for me 'til I'm in that hole in the ground. OverFinishedDoneGoneOut.
 

Logos

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Nov 28, 2006
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Launceston Tasmania
Love it. Heard it before I think, unless it just rings so true it feels like I should have. Gonna steal it for myself.
 

Van

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It's a combo of things to me. Going to the theatre and performing in it is a welcomed escape from reality. Theatre as a whole is a very interesting mirror on society. You can look back at the plays from different time periods and learn alot about the culture at that specific time.
 

Serendipity

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What's a rickroll?
This is not a rickroll. However, this is. :eek:

Well, that's a good question, although I'd hate to have it asked to me in an interview. Because while there's plenty of philosophical, emotional, or otherwise intelligent answers, I have just as many scathingly sarcastic ones.
 

Sayen

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Jun 13, 2008
Location
Phoenix, AZ
This reminds me of another joke. A guy I worked with related a story, which he swore was true. He said that when he went in for an interview with an academic individual (for his comps, maybe?), he was asked one question.

"What is theater?"

He said he stammered and stumbled through a lengthy response involving Aristotle and the human condition. When he was done she replied with,

"No. It's solving one [dang] problem after another."

He was ushered out of the room after that, and a few weeks later heard that he passed. Her response tends to become my mantra at times.
 

cdub260

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I suppose the stock answer would be that theatre is the medium by which performers create art. At the Pageant of the Masters we take a slightly different approach. Art is the medium we use to create theatre.:cool:

Seriously, though, I generally see theatre as a means by which people can escape their everyday lives for a couple of hours, and just enjoy the entertainment.

Um, assuming of course that the show is entertaining.:rolleyes:
 

quarterfront

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Aug 12, 2008
Location
Kansas City, MO
To Entertain
+1

I mean, there's other stuff too, but if you don't entertain nobody's going to pay any attention - or come back.