Little Big History Theatre

By Brianna Busch, Block 1

Joseph (2011)


For my Little Big History Project I chose to research the subject of theatre since it is one of my favorite hobbies. Theatre and being in musicals has been a big part of my life because it involves singing and dancing, some of my favorite things. Not only is theatre something I like to do, but it fits in pretty well with increasing complexity, too.

Why is it important to global society?

Theatre is important to the global society for many reasons. For one, it has been a main source of entertainment since 6th century BC. Also, it contributes to the economy since it is such a big industry in places such as New York and London.

What is theatre?

Theatre is dramatic performances as a branch of art. There are different genres such as musical theatre, tragedies, comedies, and historical.

Children of Eden (2015)

Goldilocks Conditions

The term "Goldilocks Conditions" means that the situation and circumstances were just right for something to happen. The Goldilocks Conditions that occurred hundreds of years ago to create the art of theatre was the high demand for entertainment and something to do.

Increasing Complexity

Theatrical performances weren't always as elaborate and big as say Broadway is today. Due to increasing complexity, (becoming more complicated, more complex) shows were able to incorporate things like music, technology, set building, lighting, and indoor theaters into their productions, adding more "wow" factors to grab their audience's attention.

Collective Learning

Collective learning is when you collaborate with others, putting together thoughts and ideas to come up with new things that you couldn't have come up with on your own. Putting on shows and performances takes an unbelievable amount of collective learning and collaboration because there are so many aspects such as writing shows, building sets, composing music, working on a crew, or being in the cast.

Pinocchio (2012)

Big History Thresholds

The Big History "Thresholds of Increasing Complexity" are 8 different transition points. The thresholds include: The Big Bang, The Stars Light Up, New Chemical Elements, Earth & the Solar System, Life, Collective Learning, Agriculture, and The Modern Revolution.

Threshold 3- New Chemical Elements

Theatre relates to threshold three because the new chemical elements made it possible for life in general to create theatre, but more specifically related: new materials to use and build sets, and special effects like fog machines which use a mix of gasses.

Threshold 5- Life on Earth

Life on earth is important because without there would be no one to perform in musicals. This threshold brought along people, who brought along entertainment. Also, a lot of people are needed to fill the positions, like the ones I listed previously.

Threshold 6- Collective Learning

Theatre takes a lot of collective learning and collaboration because you need to find ways to be original, stand out, and create new things to entertain your audience. By working together, an abundance of new and cool things have happened in the world of entertainment. Also without collective learning theatre probably wouldn't even exist.

Threshold 8- The Modern Revolution

The modern revolution is important because without it theaters, special effects, television, the economy, and more wouldn’t be like they are today. Nowadays, an unbelievable amount of technology goes into performances, and that is all thanks to the modern revolution.

Children of Eden (2015)

Multi-Disciplinary Approach

A multi-disciplinary approach is when you look at something from more than 1 point of view from people of different fields such as historians, anthropologists, economists, and astronomers.


How would a historian look at theatre? A historian is someone who looks at the past and the changes that something underwent to end up like it is today. If a historian were to dig deep into the world of theatre, I think they would ask questions like: Where and when did theatre originate? What caused it to start? Who are the audiences? How have the audiences changed over time? What events caused it to become more or less popular over time? What aspects have changed over time? How has increasing complexity impacted theatre?


How would an anthropologist look at theatre? Anthropology is the study of human societies and cultures and their development. If I took an anthropology approach to theatre, I would ask questions such as: How has theatre impacted this culture? How has this culture impacted theatre? How is theatre different among different cultures? How has theatre affected the development of different cultures?


How would an economist look at theatre? An economist is someone who is an expert on the economy. If an economist were to take an approach to theatre they would ask questions such as: How has theatre impacted the economy? How has the economy impacted theatre? How does theatre change with the economy?

Dance Trio

Spanning to different Societies

Theatre doesn't only affect just one culture, it has derived from many places and cultures. As you will see in the examples below, different societies gave their own little spin.


Theatre in the United States dates back to the later half of the 17th century. The United States is known for its big and bold Broadway shows in New York City, New York. Theatre has become part of the culture, as almost all schools have music and drama departments.


The concept of theatre itself originated in Europe. A lot of people think of William Shakespeare when they think of European theatre and that is because he is the most famous writer and play write of all time, and he was born in the United Kingdom. Some theatre companies that Shakespeare joined with during his time include The Globe Theater and Lord Chamberlains Men. European theatre spread into America, causing it to be a big business there too.


Theatre in African culture includes things such as festivals, rituals, cultural performances, and popular indigenous theatre. Since there are over 800 languages spoken on the continent, there is a big variation in the theatrical and ritual works.

Peter Pan (2014)


Photos: My own, Adobe Spark


Created with images by skeeze - "ballet production performance" • Magnus D - "Shakespeare Globe"

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