Many works of traditional performing arts are staged in a square or a plaza. Those squares or plazas are usually a space in front of some temple. That’s why a square is a public space, a place where we could all participate in performing arts. Basically, there are no boundaries for the performances in a square. As of today, the square has developed into a theatre in a building, and there are distinct boundaries for onstage and offstage.
In a public square, the audience would be the common people, or the audience would be the deities of a temple if the performance is held there. If a performance is given in a palace, the most important spectator would be the emperor, and the purpose of that performance is to start a dialogue with the emperor. If that emperor is open-minded, then the dialogue would be developmental and critical; but if the emperor is conservative, the performance would become ritualised, decorative, and formalised. Then, all would become some sort of glorification, maybe it’d be dancing or singing; everything would become just a ritual.
But I think rituals are important as well because there would be a lot of rituals in a square. There are all sorts of rituals among folks, such as, marriages, coming of age ceremonies and funerals. All these are rituals. Those rituals are some sort of theatre, so that we can all participate in a systematic manner. Theatre itself is an occasion for participation.