Origin and Evolution of Theatre: A Biological Interpretation

Author(s): Nandan Bhattacharya

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Abstract: This article tried to find the resemblances between theatrical and biological evolution and analogise them. In the evolution of art and culture, theatre was proposed to be considered as a subvariety while street theatre as form. It was showed that in theatrical evolution several traits can be distinguished which can be analogised with the gene. All forms of theatre have some of the traits inherited unaltered and some traits have been modified due to recombination and mutation like biological evolution. Thus each type of theatre has its definite evolutionary lineage and finding this lineage is necessary to analyse theatrical evolution. Focus was given to street theatre as a case study to trace the evolutionary lineage, selection and status in evolutionary tree to justify the proposed hypothesis. Article proposed that theatre originated from an archetype (prototheatre) where from classical and folk theatre originated. Street theatre was originated through a recombination of these two forms. It also intended to focus that survival of any form depends on two environmental selection factors, viz. rulers’ choice and peoples’ choice. Hegemony or dominance in cultural environment is a detrimental phenomenon and article recommended that variations should be conserved for future.

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