The History and Development of Choric Theatre and Its Application to the Selected Works of Theodore Roethke

Date of Graduation

Spring 1977


Master of Arts in Communication



Committee Chair

Roar Irgens


Statement of the Problem: To examine the history of choric response and its emergence as a medium in the communication arts and to adapt and present selected works of the contemporary poet and writer, Theodore Roethke, in a performance of choric theatre.
Statement of Purpose: To identify the significance of choric response in theatre, worship, and communication, and to examine the development of choric theatre in this century and its use in education and drama while also adapting and presenting the major works of Theodore Roethke. Major Sources of Data: This writer conducted an exhaustive survey of books and periodicals relating to chorus, history of the development of theatre, and Theodore Roethke. The research specifically included books on the history of drama and theatre, books on church history, selected writings depicting the history and culture of every era, articles written in speech and communication journals on choral theatre, most of the major books on choral theatre, all of Theodore Roethke's works, and numerous books and articles written by others regarding Theodore Roethke.
A Summary of Findings and Conclusions: Extending from Greek society to the 1970's, evidence is replete with the significance of choral response in worship, theatre, and communication. In some instances, the setting for response is highly formalized and stylized, while in other instances there is unusual spontaneity. But again and again choral response manifests itself as an important form of expression and communication. There is further direct evidence that choral response has a role of considerable import in programs of oral interpretation and drama in schools and colleges. Although there is limited evidence of the adaptation of poetry and other works in choric presentation, it is obvious to this writer that one who is adequately trained, sufficiently perceptive, and eager to experiment can adapt materials and develop a program for presentation with success.

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© Janice Sells Glover