My theory on the origins of theater are a combination of the Theory of Ritual and Else's Theory of Spontaneous Generation. While the first is ultimately more probable for the earliest instances of theater, I love the idea of the second. I believe humans have an innate need to tell stories. This is the base of communication, and its most important use, other than survival. Humans need stories to feel connected to something outside themselves. We use stories to find common ground: to connect. Performance (likely in the form of chants) is the perfect way to share these stories. While this may seem similar to ritual, I believe ritual could fall, in part, under the greater umbrella of storytelling.
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