Are Live Performances a Dying Art in Europe?
There is some debate over whether live performances are dying out. With the invention of television, many people choose to stay home rather than to go out and watch a play, ballet, or opera. There are several reasons as to why people are spending less and less time at the theater; from more modern advancements, to the ease of just staying home. There is a legitimate fear, however, that the love of theater and live performance is dying out, especially in the States. Theater is more likely to survive in European countries where it is seen as part of the culture and where it also receives funding from the government.
Certain live performances do seem to be decreasing in popularity partly due to television and movies and partly due to the economy. Going to a play or other stage performance is often expensive. Another issue is that people may feel obligated to dress up to go to the theater and not everybody can afford it or even wants to do so these days – just look at the prices to see a live performance in places such as Broadway in New York City. This, sadly, limits how many people actually have the privilege of attending such events. The other issue is that many people today like to see special effects and CGI (computer generated imagery). The younger generation in particular prefer movies with action and flashy effects which of course cannot be replicated to such an extent in a play.
As access to technology has improved and people have become increasingly addicted to the internet, the desire to see real people “tread the boards” has faded. Some experts maintain that theater will die out if it does not adapt to this new audience. However, it is likely that theater will continue to exist in big cities where there is a chance for more of an audience. Another way to attract people to plays may be to use big name movie actors; notable names like Hugh Jackman and Matthew Broderick have had their fair share of experience in this field. Name recognition may encourage younger generations to see a live performance.
Other types of live performances such as music concerts are likely to remain popular and people will surely continue to pay for those performances. Many music festivals across Europe still have high rates of attendance. Countless music artists today go all out and make their concerts very appealing to young people. They put on performances including dancing, costume changes and sometimes even special effects. This helps to encourage and attract large audiences.
Live performances have always struggled to survive especially since technology has advanced and young people prefer to see some exciting action. The theater may be able to survive if it adapts and tries to attract younger audiences, but one of the major problems is the high cost of tickets. In reality, many people simply can’t afford it or see it as a waste of money. Only time will tell if live performances will die out.