Getting The Middle School Show On The Road

We believe that there are key examples from theatre history which show how the performing arts have been a vital part of creating entrepreneurial cultures globally. Indeed, Dr Fantasia’s doctoral research Entrepreneurs, Empires and Pantomimes (1997) discovered many pantomime productions, staged between the 1850s to the 1920s, which ‘fit the bill’. The productions are unlike the Cinderellas, Aladdins and Sinbads that are staged today. Rather, they offer a radical alternative that explores themes such as women’s rights, the spread of democracy, cultural diversity, civil rights, racial prejudice, gender roles and sexual identity. Although no longer staged, this older form of pantomime has a more direct line to the Commedia dell’Arte origins of the form that satirises the greed, cowardice and morally reprehensible nature of autocratic power (i.e Pantalone, Dottore etc). They particularly demonstrate the quick-wittedness of Arlecchino and Colombina and other Zanni via their anti-heroic, nonsensical antics of surviving difficulties and dilemmas.