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p. 11. What is theatre?locked

  • Marvin Carlson

Abstract

‘What is theatre?’ discusses the origins of theatre and how it has developed in numerous ways in different communities and cultures, from classical Greece to medieval Japan and Italian Renaissance theatre to 19th‐century Europe, resulting in a vast array of modern‐day forms. Theatre is built upon what appear to be universal human activities—imitation, storytelling, and performance. Taking the artist-oriented point of view, the question ‘what is theatre?’ can be answered by considering the different artistic and social assumptions within which theatre artists have created their work. If the focus is upon reception, the answer changes and becomes whatever an audience can be convinced to see as theatre.

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