September 14, 2018
After reading the article “What is the true relationship of theatre and performance to human society?,” my thoughts were stuck on the question of what sets theatre and live performance apart from other art forms. There is something inherently very different about theatre that makes it unlike visual art of film. One would think that in our present society, with the influx of a hyper-technological state of affairs, theatre would become something of antiquity. Live performance’s persistence in staying relevant, however, proves that there is something unique and inimitable in the core of theatre. Of course, it’s easy enough to say that it’s because the performers are actually there with the audience and the story being told is unfolding in real life—but that in itself is not something I would consider a virtue. It was not until I read the interview response of Sir Howard Panter in this article that I made the connection between theatre and the moral aestheticism of German Romanticism. There is some natural and inimitable beauty to be found in the live experience of storytelling. It is, in its raw display of humanity, something wholly unique and special. There is a particular emotional value that comes with seeing theatre, and it cannot be replaced or eliminated from society which has built itself on such a holistically human basis of moral composition. That is, therefore, the nature of theatre in all human societies with any regard for what is naturally human.