Theatre Should be Considered a Sport

Sara Thibeault

Musical theatre should be considered a sport and fulfill the requirement of a sport here at Tilton School. Many look at this statement and shrug it off, saying “no” without a reason. After all, “theatre is an art, not a sport.”

Though, theatre is so much more. Yes, theatre is a form of art as well, but a performance art. In sports, the team must perform in a sense as well. Both perform for an audience. Auditions are not unlike tryouts for sports teams. Actors must demonstrate or perform their skills in speaking, dancing, and musical abilities.

Physical activity is common in the rigorous dance and singing while dancing like the character. Have you ever seen the entire cast sweating bullets after two hours of dancing? I don’t think so. That’s why you didn’t see theatre as a sport.

We do not tolerate slackers in any form of theatre and you must give an extreme effort as both an actor and tech. That’s where the composure kicks in. (In theatre, Mr. Roy as director treats it with the seriousness of a varsity sport in how they conduct rehearsals. He will kick you out before opening night ASAP if you’re not trying your best.) Perhaps not fighting another team competitive. But why must it all be competitive? Is that the point of every sport we do here at Tilton School? To fight each other and see who’s best? That’s not sportsmanship.

Communication and extremely precise coordination between tech and actors, and actors and actors, and tech and tech. We must collaborate with everyone, despite our differences. Theatre deserves as much respect as sports. Understanding how to work with people, putting differences aside to get the job done (especially when actors must act as intimate couples when they’re a bunch of high schoolers).

Students must have a substantial amount of courage to be on stage to speak, sing, and dance (often all three) in front of an audience including their peers. Actors deserve more respect in this sense. 

Introverts don’t have enough options if they are not interested in sports. A friend of mine, an introvert, believes she can become someone else on stage and anything she has ever done—all the mistakes and stupid things don’t matter when she becomes her character. Though, she must try out for a sport that she must be very good at, especially because of the low amount of options for non-varsity girls’ teams. The cast and crew in theatre give members a sense of belonging in a similar way sports teams do, though I feel more open as an introvert. Here, at Tilton, we would like to see the theatre department grow to be respected as much as sports as well.

Musicals have two or three show nights to show for months of prep and effort while athletic sports have more frequent games. Sports allow you to make mistakes then improve from them later in the season, while theatre has much higher stress to get it all right the first time.

Not every student excels at a specific athletic sport, mostly for extroverts. Plus, due to Tilton’s “one sport per year” requirement, lots of kids who want to do theater aren’t able to because of the tight schedule of their required sport. Therefore, musical theatre should be considered a sport in order to meet this requirement.

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