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A Discussion on the Culture of the Performer Essay example

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A Discussion on the Culture of the Performer
Culture is one of the most difficult things to define. Trying to fit all of the subtle nuances and colloquialisms of a people group into a ridged form often requires drastic simplification. However, for the purpose of enlightening others in regards to one’s own culture, there is no other alternative. Culture in short, as defined by the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, is “the following ways of life, including but not limited to: Language, Arts and Sciences, Thought, Spirituality, Social Activity, and Interaction.” To that end, the culture of the performer may be defined as the aforementioned ways of life in regards to the people group known as performers with emphasis in language, spirituality, thought, and interaction.
Language is one of the most important traits of the culture of the Performer. Theater, the most prevalent example of the performance culture, uses language to its fullest extent. Theater in and of itself is the use of language, along with sets, movement, and/or props, to convey a message or moral to its target audience. The usage of language with in the performance culture takes on more than just a social meaning. One author suggests:
…language in the theatre is generally far more "powerful", rhetorically and otherwise, than in its social usage, since it is subject to far greater compositional or oratorical constraints than in any other mode of discourse except literature or oratory itself. (Elam 147)
Language, therefore, takes on a significant role in the culture of the performer. By coming up against obstacles such as the duration of a performance, the target audience’s ability to understand, and in some cases, constraints of reality, language be...


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"Definition of Culture." Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute Promoting Cultural Understanding through Education & Communication. The Roshan Center for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland, 2001. Web. 04 Dec. 2011.
Elam, Keir. "Language in the Theater." SubStance. 18/19 ed. Vol. 6/7. Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin, 1977. 139-61. Print. Theater in France: Ten Years of Research (Winter, 1977 - Spring, 1978).
Isherwood, Charles. "Theater Review - 'Mourning Becomes Electra' - Blood and Guts and O’Neill at the Acorn Theater - NYTimes.com." Theater - The New York Times. The New York Times, 20 Feb. 2009. Web. 06 Dec. 2011.
"The Origins of Theatre - The First Plays (continued)." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. PBS: Public Broadcasting Service, unknown. Web. 06 Dec. 2011.
"improvising." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. Web. 07 Dec. 2011


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