Ethos is not enough | Intellect Skip to content
Ethical Dramaturgies
  • ISSN: 1757-1979
  • E-ISSN: 1757-1987


Strictly applied Aristotelian models of rhetoric limit possibilities of communication to the binary roles of speaker and hearer, and as such reinforce binary notions of power across lines of gender and race. A brief case study of a cancelled conversation about the white-centred storytelling and harmful stereotypes in the musical at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wisconsin, reveals the harm that can be inflicted by the rigidity of ancient rhetorical models. Feminist rhetorical models offer an alternative, and unless institutions recognize that there is ethos in our audiences and value the labour that produces ‘organic dramaturgy’ in our communities, the contemporary call for new collective forms of storytelling will be left unanswered.


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