This series' purpose is to highlight the need for us to focus on our common features, instead of concentrating on our differences, at a time wherein extremism is on the rise and disinformation spreads. The art of actors and Shakespeare's mastery of words will serve as a basis to express this challenge.
In the 19th century, Hegel limited art to five domains: architecture, sculpture, painting, music and poetry. A century later, the performing arts, cinema and photography were encompassed within this very strict, elitist definition. Actors, whether on stage or on set, are artistic vehicles of human emotions. To use the title of Balzac's masterpiece, acting is depicting the human comedy. Writers and actors have the capacity to make other people identify themselves and understand the emotions of imaginary characters, when often understanding other people's reactions and feelings in real life is an arduous task. They do so by giving the spectator an insight into a character's most inner thoughts and share his most private moments. To quote Mme. Vigée-Lebrun: "if the victims of that period of execrable memory had not had the noble pride of dying with fortitude the Terror would have ceased long before it did." Empathy and understanding brings people together, when the fear of the unknown and misunderstandings divide us.
A selection of the world's greatest male actors, who have already passed into history and are known for their incredibly emotional performances, will portray universal societal roles that can be found in most cultures around the globe: the father, the lover, the son and the patriarch/figure head. Each male figure is also given the name of one of Shakespeare's iconic characters corresponding to a societal role. Few writers have succeeded like the bard to create stories, which bear a similar degree of truthfulness and contemporaneousness centuries later. Shakespeare's work has a universal value carried by the emotions of his characters.
These figures serve as a basis for finding commonalities between cultures and peoples through the most human art of all, acting.