Rhapsody for the Theatre

[ … ] next to the spiritual suspicion that befalls theatre, there is always the vigilant concern of the State, to the point where all theatre has been one of the affairs of the State and remains so to this day! Who fails to see that this territorial and mental division has the additional merit of cutting across that other, all-too-saturated divide of West and East or of North and South? Because at the far end of this East we find the brilliance of a theatre of exception, whereas it is generally elided from Islam. I say “generally” because no consideration of universal theatricality can ignore the sacred dramas through which Iranian Shi’ism conferred Presence upon its founding martyr. In this last case, the scandal is home to a heresy. But all true Theatre is a heresy in action. I have the habit of calling its orthodoxy “theatre”: an innocent and prosperous ritual, from which Theatre detaches itself as a rather implausible lightning bolt.

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