LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #86 – Linear dramaturgy

Traditional theatre and ballets are based on stories in which the action progresses logically, each event giving rise to the next. It’s comforting to think that things develop according to a logic that we can understand. It gives us the impression that we can foresee how events will unfold and that we can think backwards from a desired outcome to determine the behaviour that will influence things in the way we want. The problem with narrative dramaturgy is that it focusses in on a story and leaves out everything else out, as if creating experimental conditions, in which all other variables are kept constant. Life is not like this. Things are changing all the time and affecting each other all the time and it’s not easy to isolate the causes of an event. Thinking that, if I do this, that will happen is overlooking all the other factors that come into the equation. Knowing that the dramaturgy we live in is not linear takes away the idea that a certain outcome depends solely on what I do. We are not in control of what happens. We are not completely responsible for what happens.

 

María Ferrara

 

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