Broadway vs Lahore – Theaters & Cultures

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Theatre life has always been a customary characteristic of any culture. It provides some basic utilities to its patrons such as entertainment, economic essentials (jobs) etc. Culture is much affected, reflected respected, influenced, used and presented through, by and in theater world.  Formidably the world has segregated this particular art form into ‘high and low culture’. Former one represents the viewership of elite class and a certain taste while the latter one caters mostly to the masses and a common taste.

While comparing the two extremely distinct theaters Broadway and Lahore, we need to analyze the kind of impact that it leaves with its audience and on their way of life regardless of commercial set up, it has much more to do with society than just minting money. It rather represents two ways of life via its medium. This impact is either known as ‘high or low culture’, each representing its own cultural value and standing.

In the context of Broadway Theater, it is much known to be, high culture. Due to its high priced tickets, attraction of tourism, well made sets, dressed up audience, professional actors and all such defining characters, it is much characterized to be of ‘high culture’.  Broadway Theater in New York(the very heart of theater world) with plays such as Lion King, Spiderman & War horse has touched upon wide range of topics usually from an intellectual arena that represents high form of articulation. It’s acceptable by everyone and mostly understood by its audience, which usually defines the thin line between high and low culture.  Regardless of that, keeping in mind the disparity of cultural associations betweenNew York (west) andLahore (east) according to me, Broadway for the most part becomes ‘high culture’.

Lahore Theatre, pretty much has changed a lot. It varies on all grounds. The 80’s era when Sadat Hassan Minto and other prominent writers worked on plays, those were the times when probably the elitists were more targeted, whereas now the theatre completely varies. Only few plays are associated with that of ‘high culture’, (Mamma Mia, Bombay Dreams, Chicago) which usually form up to be called Broadway plays, so It’s quite unsure to categorize it in Lahore theater, while entire crux of Lahore Theater is much attributed with ‘low culture’ due to its appeal to spectators who are from low and middle class who usually anticipate ‘comedy and dance’ (Bollywood influenced).

The masses usually sought out for entertainment and much usual needs of spectatorship such as humor, old traditional tales, and also crude content at times too, which is a very ‘low culture’ characteristic. Some rich men also hold spectatorship to Lahore Theater but under my analysis they don’t count for or make up the ‘elitist’ bunch, since it’s not relevant to call them ‘intellectual’. The concept of elitist is vague in this certain context. Nevertheless, on the grounds of ‘intellectual taste’ and ‘ordinary taste’ I have drawn out the conclusion comparing the two very prevalent theaters. High or low culture it does have a huge influence on its audience shaping up their lifestyle, taste and cultural bounty.

A social sciences student, a free-thinker, a freelance monotheist, a liberal, an idealist, a pacifist. 'Let there be peace on earth & let it begin with me'