Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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After questioning the conventional distinction between traditional and modern theater in Asia, this essay suggests that it may be more fruitful to view today's live theater traditions as part of a garden of theater culture that includes both native and imported elements and both deep-rooted and recently transplanted traditions. The remainder of the essay amplifies this perspective using examples from Thailand's theater traditions during the last century and a half. This prepares the away to consider the strengths and weakness of traditional theater staged in Thailand during the last decade or so, whether centered on juxtaposing various artistic forms onstage or performing artistic reinterpretations of traditional stories. In seeking to strengthen these approaches for future performances, the author suggests the need for pooling the discipline and creativity performers have in order to fashion patterns of artistic expression that convey significance both among artists and to their audiences.

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