NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED194913
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1976
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Decadence of Dramatic Theory.
Gross, Roger
Dramatic theory in the past has been confused with hypothesis, hunch, manifesto, and observation. It is, in fact, a scientific activity--much like theorizing in physics, human society, or art. The current state of the art of theory in the drama classroom faces many problems. Most theatre faculty offer courses called "Theory and Criticism" that are just history--the story of theatrical opinion told simply because it was said. Courses that evaluate works of the past and then synthesize them with what is happening today are almost nonexistent. What is lacking are questions that ask not what was said but why, was it accurate, and is it accurate now? There are both an introspective theory of theatre, which is idealistic with no regard for systematic observation, and a scientific theory, which does not include knowledge of human behavior. For accurate comprehensive theory in theatre, scholars advanced in the techniques of observation and explanation should synthesize and integrate their observations with received theory, and pass this on to students for their own synthesis. Hypotheses advanced in theory must be disposed of, by integration or refutation, and not allowed to simply disappear. We must catch up with what scientists in other disciplines have learned about the mechanisms of behavior, the techniques of inquiry and explanation. (HTH)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A