Duality in Theatre: A Benevolent Kind of Haunting

Written By Malorie Palmer

In Alice Rayner’s article “Double and Doubts,” she grapples with the idea that the theatre provides a haunted experience. “Theatre, in all of its aspects, uniquely insists on the reality of ghosts,” Rayner explains, positing that ghosts are not merely a fictional element in theatre.  Rather, in each of its facets and faces, one can find means to believe that theatre itself is haunted, as the actors work within the constraints of the perceptions and expectations of the audience, the playwright, and even themselves. The actors have a basic format to follow or an expectation to live up to that is based on the knowledge they and their audience already have. To briefly summarize and focus this broad idea, we can take a look at the well-known Shakespearian work, Romeo and Juliet.

Continue reading