How to figure out what kind of theatre you like

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I’d like to return to one of my favourite topics that I affectionately call, “Plays: They’re just like Movies!”

All art forms have a kind of “psych out” factor – that intangible thing about them that makes people turn off their brains and go “whoa whoa whoa, the thee-yay-tur! I am not fancy or smart enough for that. I will definitely not get it, and it will be dumb, and I will be dumb, and I will fall asleep. Harrr har har har harrrr.”

Have you ever, ever had that reaction looking at movie listings? No? I didn’t think so. How about flipping through Netflix?

The thing about movies and TV is that you don’t pressure yourself to like everything. Maybe you like deep, character-driven dramas. Maybe you like buddy comedies. Maybe you like mysteries.

When people think of going to the theatre on a reasonably frequent basis, and perhaps even becoming a theatre fan, they think that means they have to like every play ever written. Not so, amigo! I don’t, and I love the theatre! I love it so much I would get one of those horribly embarrassing “happy & sad masks that mean theatre” tattoos in a very personal location. I. Am. A. Drama. Nerd. For. Life.

Thankfully not my wrist.

Thankfully not my wrist.

And there are whole swaths of theatre that I don’t particularly enjoy, and which I generally don’t pay to see. So sue me. (Oh wait, I’m an autonomous adult human and I do what I want.)

So – here’s how to figure out what kind of theatre you might like. Go on your Netflix. What categories does their algorithm suggest for you on your homepage? Is it rom coms? Classic war dramas? Artsy award winners?

That’s what genre of theatre you start with. Simple as that.

And since it’s summer, there’s tons of outdoor theatre going on across North America for the next couple months. Tons of cities (perhaps even yours!) have summer theatre festivals in big beautiful tents, on sprawling lawns, and in outdoor amphitheatres. You’ll probably see posters advertising their plays. You might see an ad or two in the paper. Maybe your cool friends will post cute Instagram pics from their date night at a really great play.

Do yourself a favour. Next time you see a play advertised that falls into one of your go-to movie categories (a romance, a historical drama, a slapstick comedy etc.), grab a hot date (or go by your bad self), and just go for it! A beautiful summer evening with a great story? Sounds good to me.