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(Compare drama before movies to art before photography)
From history and religion to society and human nature, the Ancient Greeks (and lesser Romans) through the Dark Ages to Medieval Church plays, the Renaissance, on to Shakespeare, Moliere, on to Goethe, all the way to Ibsen’s Doll House—all wrote plays that not only captured the culture of their times as no other medium could; their content often changed the course of history.
Unless we know these plays, we can’t begin to understanding the world as it was understood by those who saw and heard them in their time. Since very few of us attend the very few (too often bad) productions offered nowadays, we need to read them.
After Ibsen, mass communication media producing “drama” and the theatre itself staging vapid spectacle for big bucks, playwrights modern plays are rarely seen and almost never read. —which doesn’t mean there are no playwrightsy don’t exist. There are thousands of them, O’Neillall equally as engaging and profound as the classics, and equally a part of our cultural heritage.
Poetry and prose were for the very few until the Nineteenth Century, when Charles Dickens published novels in monthly chapters.
Even today, great playwrights express now, despite the
Heritage posts explore the relationship Democracy, for instance, emerged from Dionysian rites, when Thespis (the world’s first actor) stepped from the dithyrambic chorus to challenge the gods, and Athenians started producing plays that argued for humankind (attended by all citizens, free of charge).
Actors playing characters in plots imagined and composed by the greatest critical and creative minds of their times, expressing what they thought and felt and knew about humanity, in “pleasing language” and uplifting tone.
The Golden Age of Greece degenerated over time, its lesser forms of drama copied by the Romans, who ridiculed early Christians in their comedies and worshiped pagan gods
eople couldn’t readEven Poetry and Prose , Live on Stage. Politics, religion, manners, humor, horror, wonder, poetry and prose,
From its roots in Ancient Greek religion to the 2016 flap involving Mike Pence and the cast of Hamilton, stage plays have reflected and profoundly affected human civilization.
Democracy, for instance, emerged from Dionysian competition, after Thespis challenged the gods, and Athenian tragedies argued the case before all citizens, free of charge.
Theatre defined the Golden Age, and for the next two thousand years most people learned about the world by seeing and hearing plays: they couldn’t read!
For five hundred years the monolithic Catholic Church banned all theatrical performances, tainting theatre for all time as immoral and profane. Then three priests played Angels and the Marys and over the next five hundred years religious plays developed into playlets in the church that spread outdoors to pageant wagons throughout the Christian world until the Renaissance, when secular theatre emerged and blossomed into Shakespeare, Moliere, Goethe, and their peerless peers, until the Industrial Revolution produced cheap paper, people learned to read, and Charles Dickens wrote the first popular novels.
, bring cheap paper, a literate public created a literate .
Roman comedians mocked of the many ways world history how our culture has how theatre That’s just for starters.
The ; they couldn’t read! Democracy exists because Even now, poetry and prose (the other two forms of creative writing) had to be spoken aloud. Modern playwrights create masterpieces that could humanize mankind if people saw and heard (or read) them; but we don’t.
Cold Reads & Human History
Cold Reads & Religion