Ritual and Theatre
Excerpts from Liberating Rites: Understanding the Transformative Power of Ritual
"Although a ritual includes pretending, the ritual performance itself is no pretense, but an actual, here and now doing."
"Ritual display is not simply a doing but a sharing of a doing."
"Ritual display is often directed inward as much as outward."
"Rituals are perhaps the oldest... members of the performance family. Their business in society is to effect transformations that cannot otherwise be brought about."
"...although ritualization is the earliest form of language, we do not well understand ritual unless we realize that within its frame of reference, action is primary and symbolism subordinate."
"Like art, rituals are likely to bear more meanings than words can say. We do not see clear, rational meanings but instead the laying out of ways to act, prompted by felt needs, fears, joys, and aspirations."
"A person may participate in a ritual event, indeed many do, without knowing the mythology with which the ritual is associated. And s/he may find that ritual just as meaningful as someone who claims to know the mythology, which the ritual involves. Ritual, once enacted, has a life of its own." - from William Harman.
"Rituals are primarily instruments designed to change a situation: They are more like washing machines than books. A book may be about washing, but the machine takes in dirty clothes and, if all goes well, transforms them into cleaner ones."
As a final note, Mr. Driver says that rituals are playful, but: