Entertainment abounds in campus art programs

By Life Editor Tyler Hargett

If people were honest, they would admit plays, operas and symphonies are not as popular as they once were.

With a range of streaming sites, video games, concerts and year-round blockbusters available, entertainment-hungry audiences have no shortage of platforms to choose from.

However, because of this, they sometimes forget about the artistic shows that pre-dated them all, such as Shakespeare’s revolutionary playwriting, Mozart’s much-covered “The Marriage of Figaro” and Beethoven’s multiple symphonies.

While these artists are long gone, their work and musical influence remains and has inspired many artists to grab a baton, raise their voice or act in a show in front of audiences worldwide.

UNA’s College of Arts and Sciences hosts multiple shows every semester through its theatre and music departments, but they do not always sell out.

Before I went to last year’s summer production of “The Mountaintop,” I had never experienced the theatre department’s works. After the show ended, I wanted more.

The acting, set design and story drew me in and entertained me more than many movies I have watched.

When I attended UNA Opera/Musical Theatre’s production of “Little Women” in November, I was treated to more great characters and singing worthy of listening.

UNA has also hosted outside performing groups in the past, such as the New York-based Aquila Theatre Company, who have annually performed a professional work of Shakespeare since 2001.

The best part of all these shows is they only cost students $5 per ticket. Comparing this to prices paid for movie tickets (not including the purchase of popcorn and drinks), one can see the value in attending these shows.

Last year, the fewest number of people went to movie theaters since 1992, according to Box Office Mojo. Six in 10 people say they rarely ever go to the movies, according to Business Time, likely due to people using streaming services instead.

However, while watching shows and movies on Netflix or Hulu are convenient (and can easily take up an entire weekend if one is not careful), there is something different about going to see actors perform a show live.

Not only can people get an up-close view of drama, romance, action or slapstick, but they can also sometimes better identify with the characters or immerse themselves deeper into the show since what is happening onstage is happening right then and there.

Overall, live performances are a sight to behold, and UNA has a plethora of shows to choose from.

While streaming services and theatrical movies are fun, I propose students attend more live performances on campus. These performances may invoke a more emotional response in viewers.

 The readers who indulge in theatre should voice their opinion on social media. Positive word of mouth will spread, which can influence more people to choose live performances over cinematic experiences.