Members of the Goodman Youth Arts Council weigh in on the most powerful live performances they’ve ever experienced.
By Ariel Bastida
While it may not be conventionally categorized as a “live performance,” watching the live-stream of Chadwick Boseman’s 2018 commencement address at Howard University is one of my most powerful memories of a live event. This experience coincided with a volatile stage of my life—a time in which my relationship to self and reality was increasingly tenuous. His address centered around the theme of unearthing one’s purpose and simply by listening to him speak, my spirit and soul felt profoundly revitalized. Since Boseman’s passing, this is a moment I reflect upon often, one which propagates an inexpressible joy at the fact that I was lucky enough to be inundated in his presence—even at a distance.
Every time that I doubt going into the arts, I think of seeing Wicked for the first time and it reminds me of the magic that theater can create. Getting to see all of the beautiful scenery, costumes and lighting really imprinted on me that theater is what I wanted to do.
I’ll never forget when I saw Uncle Vanya at Goodman Theatre. I went with my Dad and sister—we were family friends with Tim Hopper who was playing Uncle Vanya. That moment has had a huge impact on my life, because it’s where I realized I wanted to become an actor. After that night, I didn’t stop auditioning, rehearsing monologues and taking classes, because I had finally found what I was passionate about.
I saw the national touring production of Matilda the musical—it was the first big production of a musical I've seen. As a 12-year-old it was so fun and exciting and just mesmerizing. After that night, I really knew that I wanted to have a career in theater and in the arts! It really touched my heart.
One live performance memory that I will never forget was when I went to see Trainspotting live at the 777 Theatre in New York City. It was the first play that I had ever seen in New York and the first play that I had seen as an arts college student. It was immersive theater on a whole new level. I went back to see the show again and both times it took my breath away. At the time, I thought that the most personal experience of acting had to be on-camera, but after watching that show and feeling the intimacy with the characters that I did, I recognized that live theater offers so much more than I ever thought it could.