Summary and Critique About Schechner's Performance Theory, Chapter 1

Topics: Rite, Ritual, Performance Pages: 2 (537 words) Published: February 28, 2013
Review of Schechner’s Performance Theory: Approach
Meganakita D.J

Schechner’s theory has been one of the most prominent bases of knowing performance theory (). From my acknowledgement, based on Schechner’s theory, in knowing to approach/perform, Cambridge Theory seems to be the main explanation of this chapter. This theory consists of shamanism and/or Greek rites that (in Schechner’s opinion) clearly relates to theater, in addition games, music, sports and theater are quite similar in terms of rules, time, space, objects and non-productivity.

In assumption, the origin theater comes from the Greek. According to the Greek, they are the ones who establish theater. They make theater as a ‘primal ritual’ for their God, Dionysus. However, this statement has not been proven exactly. But in the other hand, Murray states vividly about how Greek states their rites as one of the primal ritual. It is called Sacer Ludus. In this ritual, it consists of the dithyramb, where the story develops into a tragedy. The other one is called phallic dances. It refers to comedy approach. As a result, this ritual connects with theater as well.

“It is hardly an exaggeration to say that when we look back to the beginnings of European literature we find everywhere drama, and always drama derived from a religious ritual designed to ensure the rebirth of a dead world” (Murray 1961:9).

As it is been told before, Schechner gathers several groups of performance. Firstly it is play, and then it comes to games, sports, theater and ritual. Each of them has several elements: time, object, non-productivity, rules and space. Each performance has its specific time. For instance, when a guy tells a girl that he likes her, normally the girl responds normally. But if the girl responds him longer, then it make the guy assume that the girl is in doubt. In addition, object is also an important element. Because it defines the setting and character visually, therefore the audience can tell...
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