Why You Should Do Theatre Your Whole Life

In the utterly fantastic film, “High School Musical”, the cool basketball player, Troy Bolton, becomes a theatre kid, breaking the status quo, in turn changing his high school. When the movie became a reality for my junior year play at SAS I knew I needed to try out. Even though I had done theatre my freshman and sophomore year of high school, High School Musical was the play I needed to do. After the tryouts I thought for sure I was going to get (the feminine and most relatable to me persona) Ryan as my role, but when the cast list came out and my name wasn’t adjacent to Ryan’s, I was broken. I immediately didn’t want to do theatre anymore and thought that if I wasn’t good enough to get Ryan, I had no reason to continue the theatre. However, this toxic mindset of only looking at the main roles for success changed when I decided to be apart of the ensemble for High School Musical and I loved it. The community, workshops, and amazing opportunities I got from being apart of a larger whole and ensemble were greater than any self-fulfillment I would get from being Ryan.

“Of the top six most happiness-inducing activities, again after sex and exercise, the other four are all arts-related.”

Excerpt from https://www.artsjournal.com/newbeans/2011/12/art-and-happiness-new-research-indicates-4-out-of-6-happiest-activities-are-arts-related.html
My “Requiem For Change” cast and ensemble on the last night of our performance
Courtesy of Paul Chapman

After High School Musical was over, I decided to continue doing theatre for the rest of my time at SAS. I was apart of two student run plays for The Thespian Festival, Drama Exchange, my senior year play “Requiem For Change”, and so much more. Even if I wasn’t the lead roles for the plays I did, I loved doing them for a number of reasons. These reasons led to me becoming happier, more fulfilled, and overall make me want to do theatre my whole life.

“I believe that in a great city, or even in a small city or a village, a great theatre is the outward and visible sign of an inward and probable culture.”

-Laurence Olivier

The three main reasons why I loved doing plays so much were…

1. You Are Apart of A Community

An ensemble of actors at a local high school musical.
Courtesy of the Lawrenceburg Community Theatre

When you are in a play, musical, or anything with an ensemble, like it or not, you are going to have to get along with the people you are working with. Even if you are NOT a “theatre kid”, you will soon have to become one when you are stuck on stage with no memory of your lines and you are begging your fellow actor to help you. Trust me…be friends with everyone! And as the Hamlet actor Laurence Olivier said, “I believe that in a great city, or even in a small city or a village, a great theatre is the outward and visible sign of an inward and probable culture.” Theatre makes a community!

2. You Get To Work With Amazing Directors and Other Actors

2019-2020’s IASAS Drama Delegates and Alternates
Courtesy of Thomas Schulz

I know many people are probably going to say that they could never go on stage. That they could never perform. The thing is, I have seen so many people that you would never think as a theatre person, come out of doing a play or show and loving the experience. “The more you get on stage and stay there, even when you’re afraid, the more the brain learns that you don’t die being up there” said an anonymous theatre student who has done sports for all of his high school but loves theatre. “It’s really fun for me and makes me feel like I belong.” I had the pleasure of working with an amazing cast this semester in the IASAS Drama ensemble consisting of Ben Warrell, Naya Jorgensen, Lloyd Wright, Connor Marshall, Ahan Kaul, Declan Sheehan, Joy Jaensubhakij, Ollie van den Heuvel, Michelle Johnson-Wang, Elly Gaskell, Callie Elms, and myself, with alternates Kiana Lau and Harrison Craig. We performed “Take Me To The Pilot” at this year’s IASAS Drama. Even though, “CulCon” became “CulCancelled”, it was a great experience. However, an ensemble wouldn’t be anything without their director and we had the pleasure of working with the amazing high school theatre director and overall amazing man, Mr. Thomas Schulz! Ask one of the delegates or alternates for more information if you would like to do it next year, whenever you see them roaming the school!

3. Theatre Is Proved To Make You Happier

A funny and very realistic theatre meme.
Courtesy of MakeAMeme.org

“Of the top six most happiness-inducing activities, again after sex and exercise, the other four are all arts-related,” was said by An Arts Journal Blog when looking at what makes people the happiest. I mean look at the facts! Theatre and everything arts-related makes people happier than you would think.

In the end whether or not you would consider yourself a leading thespian, everyone should do theatre. It’s ok if you don’t get to be Troy Bolton or Sharpay Evans; you will enjoy being apart of any ensemble. Theatre and Drama aren’t just for high school…they are for life. 

Author: Will Staley

Will Staley is currently a senior and this is his second year working for the Eye. This is also his second year living in Singapore, having moved from St. Louis, Missouri USA. Will enjoys photography and has a photography website (willstaleyphotography.com). He hopes to pursue photography and journalism for his college and career, while being involved in his passion of politics and humanitarian work. He can be contacted at staley774011@sas.edu.sg.

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