In the Age of Digital Media is Theater Still an Important Art Form?

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Theater has been a source of entertainment used as a form of self-expression.

Isabel Ramos-Assam, Writer

Although technology and the internet are reaching new heights of advancement every year, digital media improvements do not take away from the value and beauty of theater. Since its creation, theater has been a source of entertainment used as a form of self-expression.

Theater has been around for many centuries, tracing back to the sixth century B.C, when it originated as dramatic presentations performed by Greeks. Considering its long history and variety of elements like dance, singing, acting, costume and tech design, theater should be highly regarded as one of the first forms of art.

Unfortunately, theater audiences have declined over the years. Rather than going to a play or a musical, rising generations would rather go watch a movie or scroll through social media as forms of entertainment.

“For musicals, the 9 percent drop in the attendance rate between 2008 and 2012 was the first statistically significant change in that category in more than 25 years,” The New York Times said.

There is no doubt that the appreciation for theater has decreased, overshadowed by the increase of internet usage and pop culture. Theater has become an underrated art form, even though it serves as a one-of-a-kind outlet for self-expression.

Theater is a unique art form that differs from other forms, such as painting or music, because it consists of telling a story through the elements of voice, mind, and body. Whether you receive an education in theater or attend plays and musicals, theater brings people together and demonstrates the different aspects of human nature.

“I regard the theater as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being,” Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde said.

Not only is theater a unique reflection of human nature, it is also evolving alongside technological advances. Although digital media has diminished theater audiences, digital media has had the positive effect of enhancing theater production.

“Modern technology has made it easier for theaters to upgrade the visual appeal of their productions and accomplish a variety of tasks,” Illuminated Integration said. “Through automation and 3D printing, sets can be constructed faster, contain more detail and pull viewers deeper into the setting and story.”

Technology’s impact on theater has allowed its audiences to have a more immersive and engaging experience. The rise of digital media in relation to theater should be looked at in a positive light, considering it has upgraded the quality of on-stage productions.

Theater is an important form of art, regardless of the day or age it takes place in. It provides opportunities to see life from a different perspective than our own through visually appealing performances. This art form has touched the hearts of people of all ages for centuries, and the rise of digital media should only improve its capacity to move and entertain an audience.