The Purpose of Theatre: An Analysis of Early Theatre in Ancient Athens and its Role in Shaping Democracy

Thumbnail Image
Schmit, Maverick
Master of Leadership Development
The connection of theatre to democracy has long been established as the Ancient Greek city-state of Athens managed to revolutionize the western world with their embrace of both as early as the fifth century, BCE. In the modern world, however, theatre has been relegated to that of just an element of the entertainment industry in one of the most powerful self-proclaimed democracies in the world. This paper seeks to examine the disconnect between the nature of modern commercial theatre (Broadway) within the United States and compare the relationship between the artform and its leadership to that of Ancient Athens. Though these elements may seem disparate, the research applied in this thesis argues that the state sponsorship of theatre in Ancient Athens will provide insights on how to yield a more functional democracy and stronger, empathetic leaders therein.