The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Live Theater is the greatest form of the performing arts.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/10/2014 Category: Arts
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 686 times Debate No: 61524
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




Live Theater is the greatest form of the performing arts.

Performing arts are defined as: forms of creative activity that are shown in front of an audience, such as drama, music, and dance. This includes screened arts, being movie and television series.

Live theater includes spoken and musical theater, but does not include cabarets, variety shows or screened arts.
First round is acceptance.

Second round is opening statements- No rebuttal.

Third round is rebuttal- No new arguments

Fourth round is concluding statements- No new arguments, or new rebuttal.

Happy Debating! If any confirmations needed, comment here, or message me.


Thank you, Pro, for setting the groundwork for the debate.

I accept and hope for a good and enlightening discussion of the arts!
Debate Round No. 1


Live theater is the greatest form of the performing arts.

The performing arts are an age old traditional method of displaying a story to an audience. Great playwrights and musicians have spent their lives developing shows to draw out their innermost emotions, and cast them onto the stage, for the audience to experience. Through this, Live theater creates an emotional bond with the stage actors that is simply not possible viewing a performance on the screen.

In a theater, the audience are surrounded by like minded people, who contribute to the atmosphere with call lines, and with displays of their own emotion. This can be extended, by "breaking the fourth wall", a technique common in Shakespearean plays which involves the actors speaking to the audience, and moving among them, with responses from the audience altering the course of the show.

One such show, Life in The Spotlight, has audience member interaction whereby the entire second act of the show is changed, depending on the reaction of their audience to a specific question or stimulus. This is inherently impossible on recorded and screen based performing arts.

The Live theater tradition is the oldest form of theater, and can be used to celebrate religion (Joseph and the amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), Life (RENT), Philosophy (Hamlet) and history (Julius Ceaser). Any topic that a human can name can be adapted to a live theater performance, and any tragedy or glory can be shown to the audience through this method. Surely it is impossible, knowing this, to declare any other performing art equal or greater than live theater.


Thank you, Pro.

I will be arguing that there is no way to quantify the greatness of any form of art, the performing arts included.

If the premise was that seven is greater than two, I would be a fool to argue otherwise. If the premise was that Carbon has a greater number of electrons than Hydrogen, yet again, I'd be a fool.

This is an issue of taste. Can we objectify taste? Can we say that one form of art is better than another outside of our own judgment?

No, we cannot. It is true that society deems certain individual pieces of art as better than others. There is, however, no way to say conclusively that one form is greater than another, because it is subjective. It is impossible to say without a reasonable doubt that live theater is greater than any other performing art, for the mere fact that art is subjective.

In my mind, there are two possibilities:

The individual is the determiner of greatness

If the individual determines greatness, the "classics" of live theater are no greater than me singing to people on the subway, because one individual observing may be deaf and blind. Or, for instance, they may think that my singing voice is the most beautiful they have ever heard and they never really were for costumes and scripts (...although, I highly doubt this is the case. :P)

Society is the determiner of greatness

If society as a whole determines greatness, then it may be possible to compare individual pieces of art, but not forms of art. I remind you that the premise claims the greater form. For instance, society would deem Hamlet greater than my impromptu singing, but does not claim that live theater is better than music. Society deems certain pieces in all forms of art (music, theater and dance included) to be great or... not so great. Because of this, one form cannot be strictly greater than another.

In either case, there is no way to say conclusively whether live theater is greater than music, dance, or any other performing art.
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you, Con, for the points to address.

Indeed, it is possible for an individual to determine greatness. However, for something to be considered "the greatest" by the majority of people (or society), is also a legitimate definition, and in fact, is the definition that is most proper. Should an individual determine greatness, than we would both win this argument, and it would be pointless, as it would be entirely subjective, and impossible to refute.

However, with society being the determiner of greatness, your argument errs in suggesting that it is impossible to compare forms of art. For instance, society commonly compares sports, where different groups decide which sport or game is the "greatest" based on the features of that sport or game. For instance, the majority of the Australian society, where I live, considers the "greatest" sport to be cricket, as it is the oldest sport that Australians have played, and is part of the country's identity.

Therefore, I propose it is possible to determine whether one thing is greater than another, based on public opinion, and the features of that "thing" compared to other "things" in the same category (in this case, Live theater being greater than other types of Performing arts in the Performing arts category, in the case of my previous metaphor, Cricket being greater than other sports in the Sports category.)

Objectifying taste is a key aspect of our society, where taste is determined by influential figures, such as celebrities, or family members, or educators. These people tell you what society expects you to enjoy, and you make your own decision as to whether that meets your individual taste. Bushiness like advertisers then use this approximate taste gathered from society to aim products and advertising toward specialist audiences.

So, in summary, it is possible to determine greatness, based on society. Whether you accept that greatness us a personal matter, and objectifying taste is common practice nowadays.


LetsKeepItCivil forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Unfortunately, my opponent has forfeited his rebuttal round.

To conclude my arguments for this debate, I would like to restate a few previous points

It is possible to determine greatness. That greatness can be rejected by individuals, but if society considers something great, then that thing is defined as "great". (as in the majority of individual cases, it will be considered great.)

Comparing forms of art is possible, just as comparing codes of sport is. Again, it comes down to society's opinion.

Keeping this in mind, remember that live theater is the most interactive version of the performing arts, where crowd involvement is common, and where the most opportunity for learning occurs. This makes it the greatest form of the performing arts. The addition of techniques that are impossible in screen arts, such as "Breaking the fourth wall" and "Call lines" creates a bond of emotion that is impossible to recreate, outside of live theater.

Remember, VOTE PRO!


LetsKeepItCivil forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by LetsKeepItCivil 3 years ago
I want to apologize for forfeiting my rounds. I recently got busy outta nowhere with a research paper. I accept my defeat on the grounds of forfeiture.

It seems I have failed to keep it civil, damn my choice of a username :P
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture