You know what my favorite part about theatre is?
An actor in a movie or TV show gets given a script and takes that character given to them and performs that character. And some of them do it incredibly well, and some of them do the bare minimum, but all of them do.
And theatre actors don’t get that liberty, not if they want to be remembered. Theatre actors are taking a character that’s probably been seen a million times, who only has a set number of lines or songs, who fans probably feel like they know, and each new actor makes that character a little different, adds a little bit of them. Because if they don’t, the only thing that will change is the face, and that’s not the beauty of theatre. Theatre changes every time somebody new gets on stage, every time anything is changed.
Theatre actors take two passing words in a two act musical and add an entirely new layer. And that’s why people can look or listen to a single piece of a show and know who it is.
The difference between actresses’ “fiyeroooOOOOO” can let you know exactly who is playing Elphaba.
The different way Jack leans on the scaffold, the different sound Katherine makes in Watch What Happens, the simple difference in tone used in the delivery of a line.
Theatre actors take a given script and make it their own, and everybody’s character is different, no matter how many other people have played it.
The difference between Laura’s Zoe and an understudy’s Zoe, for example. Same songs, same lines, same costumes and lighting and mic and story, but the character feels entirely different because Laura’s Zoe is entirely different from any other version of Zoe.
I don’t know, I just think that’s pretty cool.