The Meaning of Live Theatre – Eliza Metts, Marketing Assistant

We recently sat down with Eliza Metts, our new Marketing Assistant, to hear her perspective on the meaning of live theatre in her artistic journey. We are thrilled to share other members’ of the Charleston Stage Company perspective on this topic throughout this season on our blog! Enjoy this first discussion with Eliza.

“Robots will never, ever be able to create art.

This is something I take great comfort in, actually. As jobs held by human beings are replaced with machines and children learn to treat Alexa and Siri like a friend rather than an object, I am easily overwhelmed by the slow takeover of the unnatural over the natural, the screen over the face, the digital over the real.

But then I remember, robots will never, ever be able to create art. They will never be able to have opinions about food, or laugh just because they want to, or have a soul, or enjoy selfless friendship. Robots may be able to make computer-generated digital paintings or recite lines of Shakespeare, but they will never, ever be able to create art, because art can only be created from a human soul, the one special thing that sets us apart from the rest of creation.

No, art belongs to humanity alone. And we, the humans, belong to one another.

Live theatre is a remarkable expression of this truth. The actors belong to one another in telling the human story within each scene, the stage crew and production designers belong to one another in the creation of visual art, the actors and audience members belong to one another in the experience of letting the human story unfold in real time and real space. It isn’t just that there is an excitement and thrill to live theatre that tvs and movie screens will never be able to replicate–it’s that a face is inherently more valuable than a set of pixels and a live voice soaring over a live orchestra is inherently more valuable than even the most updated audio engineering.

I don’t intend to disrespect the art of filmmaking–we as theatre artists are indebted to what film artists can teach us about creatively telling the story of the human experience in new, exciting ways. But even in the past hundred years of film photography soaring to new heights, live theatre has also only soared as well. Even as technology envelopes more of our everyday, we yearn for the face-to-face, for the tangible, for the real.

It takes a human to make art, because art can only be created by a living soul. And so, I look towards our overwhelmingly digitized future with confidence, because I believe in the need for human souls to tell stories to others and trust that we will always find a way to do so, creating art that moves us, makes us think, and leaves us not as we came.”

Eliza Metts is the Marketing Assistant for Charleston Stage. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Theatre and English from Wofford College and is the voice behind the Instagram blog @elizawritesthings.