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Introduction: The Politics of Theatre Theoryp.11 Theatre theory is systematic generalizing, or discourse, about the nature and function of the stage, the composition and performance of plays, and the art of the actor, director, and designer. p.12 The involvement of theatre theorists in the organized life of society is only natural. Theatre is the most public of the arts, and for centuries the stage has been an institution close to the seats of power and patronage and subject to state control.