Mark Limacher /dɒtkɔm/

Philosophy, etc.

Obligatory Theater

From Alain Badiou’s Rhapsody for the Theatre:

Here I propose my second reform, which is so wide-ranging that it is a
pleasure to see. It can be summed up as follows: our presence in the theatre halls must become obligatory.


Once such logistics were put into place, what would be the forms
and means of the theatrical obligation?
Every resident age 7 and up, except in cases of force majeure, would be expected to attend at least four representations per year.
Theatre would obviously be free. It is true that, aside from its evident secular nature, popular theatre in the fifties already wished to be free. However, in Jules Ferry’s model the essential element was forgotten: the obligation.
Control at the entrance would be limited to putting the official stamp in the theatre card that every resident receives at the start of each year.
The compensations and the punishments must always be of the essence: the theatre card will be joined to the tax declaration. Spectators who are particularly zealous, whose card offers a constellation of stamps, would be entitled to substantial deductions. By contrast, the recalcitrant ones, those who fall short of their legal theatre obligations, would pay a painful fine of a fixed amount, whose profits would go entirely to the theatre budget1.

  1. Badiou, Alain. “Rhapsody for the Theater.” Theater Survey. pg 231-232. 49:2 (2008)

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