“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”
– C.S. Lewis
"All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts”
- Jaques (Act II, Scene VII, from William Shakespeare’s As You Like It)
Prior to writing As You Like It and other comedies in the late 1500’s, there was theatre before William Shakespeare. The first public presentation occurred in Greece, in the early 500’s by Thespis a poet and from whom is derived the name or label most stage actors prefer - thespian. With dance and ballet, singing and music as well as other elements added over the centuries, theatre has come to its present form.
It seems all walks of life are attracted to the theatre not only to view but to participate. According to several organizations that keep track of audience attendance, the theatre has remained relatively stable in attracting attendees over the past several decades. Even as the price of a ticket has increased, the attendance of Broadway plays in New York City has surged from 10 million to above 12 million from the 2009 to 2010 season. What attracts people to the theatre? Is it as Jaques stated in his proclamation that “all the world’s a stage” and we attend plays to get a glimpse of the “many parts” that men and women play in life? Or is it the attraction of an alternate worldview? And what about the individuals that pursue an education to become a professional actor – what are they seeking? How does an institution of higher learning whose mission and goal are to train the next leaders with a foundation based on a Christian Worldview achieving this as they train students in theatre? And what about those that become playwrights and directors; what might be the worldview they are projecting through the actors?
To help us gain an understanding of modern theatre and its current state in our culture, as well as answer some of the questions we have raised above, the Forum welcomes Kenan Minkoff from The King’s College to the broadcast to discuss theatre in general and as a discipline in higher education. Mr. Minkoff received a BFA in Acting from the North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Drama, under the direction of former New York Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Gerald Freedman and was a professional actor in New York before he moved into talent management, producing, and creative development, working for companies such as Abrams Artists Agency, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Clear Channel Theatrical Entertainment. As a writer, his plays have been produced in New York, and he was the recipient of a 2007 MacDowell Colony Fellowship in playwriting. He has a MA in Psychology from NYU where he did research on language and cognition as part of the Bruner/Feldman Lab. Join the discussion on Monday, August 23rd, at 8 pm EDT at the Colson Center (ColsonCenter.org) under the Wilberforce Forum page.