Writing Event #1: How have you experienced theatre thus far in your life and what does it mean to you?

I’ve never considered myself an avid theater fanatic. While my twin sister was indulging in each musical that had gained traction, singing Hamilton songs when the musical was at its peak in popularity, I was just sitting back, trying to ignore it. Back then, I wasn’t exactly a fan of musicals. Maybe it was because I was easily annoyed by how often it was talked about, but it wasn’t something that initially piqued my interest. I could definitely see the appeal, but during that time, I couldn’t really see the whole picture.

 Fast forward to the end of last year, a few months before the pandemic turned our lives upside down. It had come to my attention that my mom was planning for us to see a performance at the Kennedy Center. It wasn’t just any performance though, but rather a performance of the Aladdin musical. Mind you, this was the first legitimate musical I was seeing. My sister was very excited, as she’d seen a live musical before on a field trip with her choir class. I was curious to see it for myself, as it was not just my first, but besides my twin sister, this was the first time any of us had gone to see a live musical. Going into the performance, while I wasn’t as excited as the others, I was curious. Most of what I knew about musicals was just the musical aspect, the music to me was what defined my original thoughts on theater. 

However, after the musical had come to its end, it was then that my perspective of theater had changed. Even though most of my theater experiences have been from a musical perspective, it was from that moment that I really began to appreciate the art form within itself. Theater to me isn’t just people on a stage, or a bunch of songs either. Theater is a form of expression. I could only describe it as a storybook that’s sprung to life, taking the characters and emotions buried in a script to life, and making others admire these stories. Even though theater is in a tough spot due to the recent pandemic, that does not mean it’s been erased. It is an art form that has stood the test of time, and to me, is a love letter to our freedom of expression.

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