Sandra Erez launches a series on the college admissions scandal with timely musings on the long-running bribery scheme that has led to the indictment of more than 50 prominent business leaders and Hollywood actors.

Everyone
has got a text these days and understands the clever stuff,” f
rom the prize-winning Aristophanes play, “Frogs” (405 BC), referring to
the audiences’ questionable level of literacy

Prologue: The Symbiosis

Democracy
and theater have been inextricably intertwined since 6th century BCE, when the
aristocrat Cleisthenes
amended the Athenian constitution and replaced the elite tribal rulers with a
lottery-based governing body. Although democracy’s true purpose was to siphon
the power from highly corrupt Athenian aristocrats and divert it to the common
people, it was within the context of the newly founded annual theater festival
where democracy really made its stunning debut. Like budding actors waiting in
the fledgling wings of the democratic stage, the citizen-spectator would emerge
to play his own role in the production by serving as the conduit of communal
self-awareness.

Usually
taking place in March/April (that fits with our current story!) and funded by
the state (that kind of fits with our story), the entire polis would come together…

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