My daughter is helping teach a summer camp theatre class. This past week the camp was about what in theatre they call the Triple Threat: Act, Sing, and Dance.
From Mary Poppins to Matilda, Pippin to Wicked, this energetic session focused on popular Broadway musicals and plays, and included a dance/choreography class and song component in the voice class.
Compare just these two photos. The main difference between the two is the actors in a peak performance moment and just standing there.
Over and over way too many people take the later photo than the first. The reason is pretty simple. They need a photo of their kid on the stage. Both photos do the same thing for those parents. They just see a photo as showing their kid on stage.
Theatre people are some of the most talented artists on the planet. To be considered a strong artist in the field of theatre you must be able to act, sing and dance excellently. Not only must you be able to memorize lines, you must also be able to memorize a routine, hit all the right notes in a song, and maintain that audience interested at all times. As opposed to other art forms, theatre happens completely live, so there are no re-dos. You must be on it at all times.
If you pick the right moment in a musical or play you can capture the peak performance showing this talent.
For me theatre is simple to shoot. I believe playwrights have compacted the best moments in a storyline that is quite compelling. To capture these moments in real life would take days or years as compared to a 2 hour show.
This photo of the lady taking selfie of her friends and the ladies walking by looks to me like the beginning of a song in a musical. I can just picture the people on the bench breaking into song and the ladies walking by also responding. The words would give us insights into the thoughts of the people in real life.
If you are learning photography, go to the theater and look for moments. The playwright has assembled the best moments of a story for you.