Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Didactic theatre -- arguing pro vs general con

I know there is no support-- the past is inscrutable.  But I don't think religion/ritual/education/propaganda/language/music/storytelling can be separated out.  Groups develop ways of being together within an environment that (sort of) works.  The "imitation of an action" that elicits a pattern of shared feeling builds and maintains the structure that every child must grow to fit into if the group is to survive.   I remember seeing a PBS show on a dying tribe.  They needed about  15 specialists in addition to the 60-70 hunters fishers and gathers to make a go of their island.  They have songs and dances about their work and play, and as you say the kids work alongside their parents and learn from them. But the youth are no longer willing to be, say, the trap maker's apprentice just because the tribe has to have one to survive on the island.  The kids have heard stories of the city, and they want to go experience those more exciting roles....  So in a few years they will all have to leave-- or die.

Is a seder didactic?  It is ritual and lesson and religion and history and a play within which the players and audience are the same.....

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