by Alyson Leonard
Ask any theatre-lover and the answer will be the same: Every one has seen a show that has altered them in some way. One theatrical experience can make a person fall completely in love with Broadway, or maybe gain more respect for theatre actors, but why is that? What happens during that one production that can change an audience member forever?
The answer is simple: magic.
There are hundreds of factors that go into a Broadway show, and when theatre changes us for good, it’s almost as if every tiny piece of the show aligns, even for just a moment. We theatre lovers may remember every little detail from the first show we saw on Broadway, or even the first show we ever saw in our life. From remembering where we sat, to recalling if any understudies were on, to who we met at stage door, we experienced the magic that theatre has to offer.
The first show I ever saw on Broadway was American Idiot on August 21, 2010. I then saw the show twice before it ended its run on Broadway, and I still would see it one hundred times more. I have never been so mesmerized by a show until I saw Idiot; the lighting, the musical arrangements, the choreography- everything about this show held my undivided attention and received my love. This show made such an impact in my life as well as my view of the theatre, and I truly believe it was because I experienced the magic that it conjured. It made me realize that anything is possible in the world of theatre, and when one person’s story is told, it can help you escape the world you live in and transport you anywhere you want. Theatre allows you to view life as it was in different eras and countries, which takes us to places we may have never seen or experienced before.
When you sit through a show that makes you so attached to a certain character that you can feel their anger, triumph, and heartbreak as they progress through the storyline, you have felt the magic of theatre. I believe that we feel this magic because we all can relate to a show in one way or another, and when we become so attached to each character, we think of them as real people. For the duration of a show, we can escape our own lives and troubles and watch the struggles of a complete stranger. We sit in the audience absorbing every line, every note, every strike of the orchestra, and we watch the journeys of each character unravel before our very eyes. In that time, we fell under the spell of the magic of theatre.
Alyson Leonard is currently a senior in high school and also works at a frozen yogurt shop. She is planning to study directing or theatrical design and production in college. She has been involved in many school productions, and hopes to write and direct shows when she is older.