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Drama is everywhere. It is in every single person and is experienced many hundreds of times every day. This is the inner life, or monologue, of a person. Whether we are preparing a presentation for work, rehearsing what we will say to explain our lateness or simply watching the news on TV and thinking “What would I do?” we are all using one thing that is common to all humans, and the theatre: imagination.
It is our ability to imagine ourselves, and others, in different situations that makes theatre possible. And theatre has a variety of functions:
To give information
To impart religious and social values
To highlight an aspect of humanity
Since the earliest theatre was performed it has been used as a tool for education. Greek theatre itself was born of religious celebrations and continued to carry religious teachings and moral points.
The Medieval Mystery plays were designed to educate the masses about Christianity.
Shakespeare’s plays always contained a central theme, had moral content and were often used as a political educational tool.
Bertolt Brecht, the German Playwright, Poet and Director, believed that the theatre was an incredibly strong tool for political discussion and education, and he worked very hard to strip away the audiences sympathy for his characters in order that they more objectively assess the situations on stage.
And today, with the world facing many ideological and religious clashes, people are once again using theatre as a forum to raise issues and provoke discussion.
Drama - it's the way forward!