Expressing Emotions in the Theatre

Katherine Barbara Montana explores the idea of catharsis and the theatre, sharing how emotions are an important part of how she experiences a production. If you’ve always thought theatre wasn’t for you, then perhaps this may change your mind? For seasoned theatre goes, you’re not alone! Theatre can be one of the healthiest ways to connect with your feelings!


Have you ever started crying during a sad monologue on stage, or maybe during a heartwarming musical number? You are certainly not alone.

I am absolutely a crier. I have cried, as an adult, during everything from Shakespeare’s tragedies to animated films, and I am completely okay with this. In fact, the first time I saw Romeo and Juliet, I could barely see the final scene because tears had welled up in my eyes. I’m never embarrassed about mascara running down my face after a show because I know that expressing my emotions in a way that is healthy is nothing to be ashamed of. I am able to get further in touch with myself and my emotions.

A lot of the time, I am the only one crying in a movie theatre or at a ballet, and that is totally okay. Everyone expresses their emotions differently, and each way is completely valid! Some individuals don’t or can’t cry when feeling emotional, some cry a lot (myself included), and some express their emotions somewhere in between. Each type of expression is valid and unique to every individual, and shows the beauty of how emotions can take form.

Crying or simply feeling emotional during a theatrical performance are very healthy and common ways to express one’s emotions. Shows are often meant to be cathartic, and their goal is often to warm your heart or make you emotional. More often than not, I’ve left the theatre with tears streaming down my cheeks, feeling so grateful that such a moving show allowed me to express my emotions in a healthy manner. Often after shows I ask myself why I became emotional during a specific performance. The answer is almost always different depending on my mindset and how my emotions are ever evolving. Catharsis and the theatre allows one to not only express their emotions, but can help enable us to get in touch with our feelings and thoughts.

Expressing our emotions is completely natural, and a useful tool to get in touch with yourself and your feelings, whether you’re a crier or not! Expressing emotions in a healthy manner is also very important to one’s health. Keeping emotions bottled up can eat away at us and could cause us more harm than good. I have found that learning to love ourselves for who we are, and accepting that our natural emotions contribute to making us who are, can encourage growth.