Theresa Rebeck on Theater’s Populist Roots

Theresa Rebeck on Theater’s Populist Roots

I like going to the theater the way other people like going to football games. I like the energy of a house full of people chattering with anticipation, happy to be out for the evening. I like it when the whole audience laughs at the same joke or falls into a hush because something so astonishing is happening on that stage. I like the way stage light makes everyone look so pretty. I like passionate and complicated arguments between characters who use language as an elegant weapon. I like watching set pieces float up into the air while others take their place. I like it when someone breaks into song, or a whole bunch of dancers start dancing. And I do think the world would be a better place if everyone went to the theater more.