Theatre Grants time for true enjoyment

Emily Pagel

Chances are you’re currently streaming the newest episode of “Breaking Bad” or catching up on the previous episodes of “Parks & Recreation” before the new season starts.

The convenience of services like Netflix and Hulu is that they’re always available, no matter what time of day. You can pause an episode between classes, watch a whole season in a day (if you have the time for that kind of thing) and best of all it doesn’t force you to maintain a scheduled time slot every week to watch your favorite show.

Emily Pagel: News Editor
Emily Pagel: News Editor

With this multimedia, multitasking culture that students have  grown accustomed to, it’s hard to focus on one thing without being bombarded by another.

Pop-up ads and commercials keep us from enjoying these media arts.

And while television, radio and online streaming contribute greatly to this bombardment, one form of entertainment has kept technology at bay — theatre.

There’s something so personable about theatre that you can’t grasp from a television show or movie; theatre struggles for the immediacy of your attention.

Theatre, compared to other forms of media, captures us in the moment. It forces us to embrace the intimacy of our surroundings; to feed off the actors as well as our fellow audiences reactions.

There’s a type of attachment I get from sitting in a dark theatre surrounded by a bunch of strangers that are watching a play, rather it be for the first time or for the 10th. It’s a feeling that can’t be shared between you and your laptop screen.

Living in this alternate world for a few hours gives us the time to reflect on our own lives, gather a sense of true community and, if nothing else, keeps our mind genuinely and thoroughly engaged in our surroundings.

The continuity of theatre — its uninterrupted nature — is where its beauty lies. It can’t be recorded or paused or put on hold just because your friend tweeted about her latest hair dilemma.

It’s something that we have to both view and digest in one moment.And these feelings that one can gain from a theatre experience are tangible, not suppressed or dwindling, they are there for us to confront without delay.

It’s a journey we have the opportunity to take as a community to explore our imaginations, interact with the others around us and, even if for only a moment, leave the outer world — the world of fast-paced blockbusters and primetime television — behind.

NMU is lucky to have a rich and active theater community on campus. With three mainstage performances planned at the Forest Roberts Theater and two others at the Black Box Theatre for this production season, there is something for everyone.

From the widely acclaimed “Les Miserable” to “She Kills Monsters” — a Dungeon and Dragons based play — Forest Robert Theatre is sure to please a wide audience of newcomers and theatre fanatics alike.

I urge you to take advantage of these productions. Take a break from your sitcoms, social media and mobile device to take a trip and see what theatre has in store for you. After all, a good play is nothing without its audience.