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Theatre and Consciousness

The Nature of Bio-Evolutionary Complexity in the Arts


Gordon Scott Armstrong

Human beings have speech, we have consciousness, but 130,000 years ago we had nothing: why? Theatre and Consciousness argues that the functioning of human consciousness in interpreting and staging a theatrical performance is among the most highly selective and adaptive operations known to science. The emergence of the human mind out of discontinuous, pulsing, neuronal brain patterns is a study in complexity theory, possibly as complicated as the organization of the universe. According to this book, the theatre as a substrate of consciousness is one element that defines modern man as a reflective species, having evolved over 190,000,000 years. The emergence of Homo Sapiens is unique and fundamentally unpredictable; our developed speech is closer to birdsong than to any other species’ communication on earth, we have survived five galactic «beam-splitters» from space, and our evolutionary, discontinuous cortex has found a pattern to existence that may include up to twenty-six folded dimensions of «string-theory» space. This book asserts that the story of theatre is the story of the evolution of our second generation star.