I've been teaching Intro to Theatre for some time now. Recent events have me musing on what the purpose of such a class might be.
One important purpose is to develop new audiences.
Theatre has so much to compete with for entertainment in today's world. Television - now cable, high definition, 3-D! Movies- in theatres, on DVDs, STREAMING!
Not too mention sporting events of all types. And video games! And social networking!
What chance does theatre have? Without a live audience, there is no theatre.
And that is what we must capitalize on: theatre is live- intimate - in person. The physical, sensual presence of the live actor engaging with the energy of the live audience is something that technology cannot replicate.
Introduction to theatre- when it includes a requirement to GO and SEE SOME SHOWS- is an opportunity to bring this live experience to those who may never have tried it otherwise.
And once there- good theatre will do the rest.