I enjoy theater. I never participated in the activity save for a couple minor responsibilities to shows given my instrumental music background. No acting, though, and the very idea of acting scares me pretty thoroughly.
As an audience member I’m rarely fully involved in the story of a stage show. My musical upbringing leads me to make quality judgements of individual performances. Less-skilled actors pull me right back to my seat; to the reality of the spectator. Almost as if I’m watching myself watch a performance.
Today I saw a performance of Fiddler on the Roof, a show I have not seen in any format since middle school. There were many outstanding actors and musicians involved. But the weakest link kept the performance from being enchanting. I’m OK with that. The skill and hard work on the stage still boggles my mind!
A giant movie screen and a well-calibrated audio system can draw one into a movie more fully. I think stage benefits from the same illusion. The skill of Broadway and major touring group actors coupled with the sheer size of the stages they are on will make the suspension of disbelief more likely for me. It’s a different, not better, experience than small theater. If a small production lifts me on stage with the actors, well, it is an amazing feat. Just about perfection.