Live performance isn’t dead yet, but it’s slowly but surely well on its way…

“So none of us was particularly startled to learn that live stage performing has experienced a steep five-year decline of 61 percent because we are more amused by movies, television, and all manner of recorded diversion that we can watch on machines. The vast abundance of personal technologies has made it easier than we could have ever imagined to access entertainment. Movies and television, yes, but also YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, video games, etc., etc. All of these technologies offer entertainment that is more accessible, more streamlined, easier to share, to talk about, to interact with. At the same time, mainstream theatre, dance, and performance have gotten costlier, less abundant, and certainly less interactive.
“The death of stage performing isn’t just the loss of a profession—it is the loss of an entire form of experience. Nothing else has the feeling of standing on that precipice between failure and success — the puddle of sweat at the small of the back, the fluttering heartbeat, the tingling knees; to experience that moment when everything just might fall apart and probably should and you know it will, but then it doesn’t. The magic enchants, the joke is funny, the song is transcendent. Nothing else feels like that embarrassing, thrilling freefall into disaster, the old roar of the greasepaint and smell of the crowd, a tragedy or comedy that could happen anywhere, at any moment, for anyone, because all a play really needs is a player. A performer is just a person, creating an experience, and embodying an experience.”


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