THEATRE: a symbolic physical performance with an audience in an arena of feedback

A performing arts theatre is a place for experiencing in their entirety, the imaginative creations of artists who utilize sight, sound, language and movement as their integrated form of expression. Such archetypical places have the potential to create imaginative worlds of entertainment, where simulated cultural models are presented, and where real performers can be cast as conceptual meanings in the form of abstracted symbolic characters. Beneath the make-up of costume, movement, music and words, actors can become meanings. Group participation and influence is possible. Abstract social simplifications are presented in order to persuade.

Instead of an endless diet of mindless 'realism'...'reality' productions... a 'conceptualism' would be significantly more interesting. Theatre which aspired towards any such form, in order to elevate the presentation above the level of being merely entertainment, would need to take into account a range of factors. Meanings would be cast in the form of abstracted characters. The actor inhabiting the character would be an argument of the abstraction. The actors would be meanings under the make-up of their words. Abstracted names for the characters would enhance the meaning that they portray and to further distance the actors from trying to inhabit any celebrity mass-media persona. Known formal structures...from music, literature, engineering, science, psychology, or even the theatre itself...could be used to enhance the conceptual meanings. Whatever technology available needs to be utilized if appropriate.

Multi-skilled performers should be used to realize the theatrical impact of multi-art-form scenarios. If an actor is required to be a gymnast, or to play a tuba, or ride a uni-cycle, or sing an aria, then that's the way is has to be. Simulation or fudging or incompetence will not do. Any presentation needs to be prepared to divest itself of any inconvenient stage structures and conventions whilst still retaining the entertaining and humorous by emphasizing the intrinsic absurdity of existence. What is being emphasized here is that instead of populating a theatrical performance with familiar-named characters who are all ego-centric preoccupation, abstract ideas could be given life in the form of recognizable psycho-social profiles. The conceptual meanings and archetypical behaviours become fundamental, and provides for the individual instantiation, substantiation and portrayal by any one of a domain of actors.

Theatre as an art-form... as distinct from staged reality simulations... is a species under threat of extinction. It has survived for millennia because the cultural environment was easily able to sustain its continuance, but the era of electronic technology has so degraded entertainment expectations, that its habitat is significantly threatened. The proliferation of competition, as is the case for any species, is a debilitating stress, and one which is proving terminal in increasing numbers of cases. Theatre will only survive in specially contrived conservation reservations, with creativity encouragement and carefully managed tourist promotions, but it will never be experienced at the output device of a signal transmission line.