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Don’t let all the talk about living in a “post-truth” world mislead you. There is still truth to be told about our world, especially about human relationships. The good news is that we can know the truth. Fortunately, theatre helps unmasks the lies and reveal the truth about violence.
Playwright Christopher Shinn reveals that truth in his plays. Chris is an award-winning author and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 2008. He teaches at the New School in New York City.
I recently interviewed Chris about his experience as a playwright. He explained how mimetic theory has helped him understand the truth about violence and the ways that theatre can unmask the ways we justify our violence. You can listen to the audio version of our conversation above, or watch the video below.
Chris recently delivered a lecture titled, “René Girard and Theatre.” Girard explained an important truth about being human – we are fundamentally mimetic, or imitative, on the level of desire. Our mimetic nature can lead us to love, but it can also lead us to hatred and intense conflicts. Girard discovered this truth reading great literature, including the plays of Shakespeare.
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