The role of theater in society is hard to define since it has an infinite number of functions that affects our day to day lives. However, the role of theater in politics is clear, and through politics the theater is able to play its transformational role in society.
The theater has been a major player in countries that have been experiencing changing political and social conditions. Using the theater, politicians have tried to reach the vast audience for the purpose of publicity, propaganda and education. The theater has been seen as an effective tool to achieve the above because each viewer brings on board a different background, experience, future need and function which makes it easy to drive in a given political agenda.
Professor Peter Burian suggests that producing a political theater is an act of leadership. The theater gives artists a platform of telling stories that people are not ready to hear and acts as a mirror that reflects the society goods and ills. Artists in the theater determine the stories that are displayed, heard and read by the public. As a result, the theater is able to shape the culture around us because it raises the status of people social and political consciousness. The theater provides a channel in which the society holds a live debate with itself.
Democracy is one of the key pillars of the modern political systems, and it is based on representative government, transparency in acts and processes, citizen participation in governance as well as freedom of citizens. Throughout the years, the theater has played a pivotal role of advocating for democracy in most democratic countries. Theater is connecting with democracy in two major ways. To start with, the theater through its scripts educates people or advocate for a cause in the country. Artists can integrate episodes in their scripts that support democracy or show the importance of democracy to a country. Secondly, by giving room for audience participants, the theater promotes the aspects of public participation in governance.
Politics refers to the way we experience our lives ranging from the communities we live, what we eat, education natural resources and interaction in the community. As a result, the theater has to reflect the reality in the society. Theater is an effective political tool because unlike the politician who use factual narratives to invoke emotions among the audience, playwrights make use of innovative scripts to push audience outside their comfort zone and grasp the message being put across. In addition, there is boldness, fearfulness as well as purposefulness in a political theater that makes it even more effective political tool.
During elections and referendums, the theater has been used as an educative tool where people get education of the benefits of taking part in a referendum or an election. Using play-writings, the theater is able to educate voters on the benefits of registering as a voter and taking part in democratic processes in the country. In addition, the theater gives important information that enables it audience to select the best political leaders during the elections.
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