I watched a documentary recently where Keanu Reeves interviewed a bunch of brass in the industry to ask them about the shift from film to digital. They all seemed scared. One thing that I remember is the sentiment that no one has to go to the movies anymore; that they could all stay home and watch movies on their iphones.
I love going to the movies, so I didn't know what he was talking about. (But I did understand his concern, being so high up in an industry that relies so heavily on an audience.)
This all got me thinking.
I think we can all agree that doing something corporately has a different affect than if someone experienced that same thing alone. However, I recently went to a play and realized that as the audience was affected by the performance, the performance was in turn affected by the audience. This may seem like a simple revelation, but where else are we allowed to be, as a group, an influence upon the very thing we are all being influenced by. In reality, the audience as a whole gets to decide how to influence the performance and that performance, as a result, will affect the audience either more or less, based on the audience's decision.
I think that it is important to have moments where you can look around and realize that everyone else is either invested or disinterested; rapt or texting. Its important to have moments where you can feel what is going on in the room and to know that you are a significant force. In my opinion, theater is one of the most truly important human inventions.
If you haven't been in a while, maybe its time to visit the theater.