Sacred Performances

Presented by Jason Winslade.

The earliest forms of theatre had strong links to Pagan religious traditions, particularly the Dionysian festivals that saw the birth of Greek tragedy. From the Biblical play cycles of the Middle Ages to the Symbolist dramas of the 1920s, theatre and the sacred have always been intertwined. Occult traditions are no exception. The Elizabethan magician John Dee was intimately involved with the theatre scene of his time, and is said to have inspired both Marlowe and Shakespeare. Aleister Crowley was well known for his infamous Rites of Eleusis, a combination of drama, ritual and performance art. The Theosophical Society has similarly experimented with public dramatic performances as vehicles for esoteric teaching. More recent artists like Alex Grey and Alan Moore have combined esoteric philosophy and practice with performance modes. In this workshop, we will explore the history of occultism in performance, from the Greeks to the present; discuss theories about alchemical theatre and esoteric teaching through performance, and share techniques for successfully incorporating drama into ritual practice.

















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