In The Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, two US Marines and an Iraqi translator are thrust into a world of greed, mystery and betrayal after an encounter with a now-deceased but still very angry tiger. The streets of war-torn Baghdad are filled with ghosts, riddles and wry humor in this ground-breaking play that explores the power and perils of human nature. Professor Andrew McKenna will discuss the Lookingglass Theatre’s production, directed by Heidi Stillman, using the insights provided by Rene Girard’s mimetic theory. This theory illustrates how man’s imitative nature, which has great potential for learning and cooperation, can lead to rivalry and violence. Faced with a record number of murders in Chicago last year, an understanding of mimetic theory offers the possibility of disrupting this violent cycle.
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