Blogger Lauren Gunderson has a lovely and simple explanation of why theater is essential. The summary below does not allow you to get off the hook for reading her article, but let me sum up:
Theater is essential because:
1. Here and Now: Because it's not just story that entertains and inspires us, it's experience.
2. Theatricality: Theatricality works just on the basis of shared imagination -- the imagination of the playwright, director, designers, and audience all converging in the now.
3. It All Starts Here: It all starts with "Hey, lemme tell you something..."
4. It's Accessible: Theater is just plain easy to be a part of. It wants you to participate, to show up, to try it yourself, to engage, to applaud.
Now if we could just get this kind of clarity into theater's mission statements we might be headed somewhere.
Alan Menkin (b. 1949)