There is a century long root to American theater in the early East Coast Treaties with Native Americans. Many such treaties were dramatic performances - a set of rites acted and sung - performed over many days. After the treaties were struck both by native dramatic ritual and signed on paper, they were often enacted as drama. Players took treaty roles and went on tour. In the United States, they ran as theater performances in major US cities for over 100 years ending roughly 1800. They were performed in French in Montreal.
Ben Franklin published 13 of them in folios for sale as written literature and dramatic scripts here in the US and likely mainly just as written literature for sale throughout Europe.
"Benjamin Franklin and the First Nations" 2006, Susan Kalter, is the only modern rendition of the Franklin folios I know of. The folios cover treaties in 1736-62. The introduction portrays the Iroquois empire as quite eclipsed by this period. Yet in 2010 Queen Elizabeth gifted silver bells to the Iroquois in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the "Covenant Chain ", the chain of Iroquois treaties. Using Iroquois metaphor, the chain began with rope and later was brightened with steel. Thence silver thence gold were hopes.
Many early treaties were accompanied by a wampum belt. As colonial era native cultures had no writing, these terms were sometimes even memorized in a native language by tribe members assigned to keep the treaty alive, in living memory. The purpose of these treaty performances were to inculcate the hopes, the aims, and the joys of the treaty at every level of society. The media used were oratory, song and drama.
Another, very central, purpose of such treaties was to provide condolence to many types of sufferers, including those wounded before termination of any hostilities. The Iroquois treaty performances were led by the leaders who were "up-minded" but who always gave condolence to "the down-minded", including those who might be in grief or pain.
As opposed to the oral media techniques of the native cultural arc, the colonial Eurocentric arc was written and conceived of perhaps more in the realm of a transacted legal document than in the realm of hallowed living, spoken words.
But come the Revolution, some fascinating political sparks inspired by the native arc enflamed the Boston Tea Party, which was thence performed elsewhere as were the treaty dramas. Tea was dumped by colonists masked as natives in New York Harbor and elsewhere.
This native influence on early American theater are forgotten pathways within the arts.
Thinking of our modern culture, the rampant virulent divisiveness in our culture, along many fronts and issues, could well use drama that rejuvenates these little know century’s old historical and theatric roots. The divisiveness is so rampant it seems we lack a treaty mechanism. Maybe we should invent one, or re-invent one.
It seems important to keep in mind that in any current or future rendition of the old treaty-drama techniques we must cast aside two types of colonial stereo-types: notions of Native Americans and notions of EuroAmerican settlers. Both cultural arcs have radically evolved. What new renditions or representations of treaty drama might do is document these separate arcs, celebrate the best aspects within them. And, as with the treaties of old, cheer up, maybe edify, the afflicted or depressed.
Maybe all this is too much to expect from drama and film whose predominant goal is to be purely entertaining.
I guess for ideas for actual modern renditions of stage or film implementations or representations of the old treaty-drama techniques, it is probably best for drama and film writers to use their imaginations here.
From a mathematical perspective, the advance of the written word upon spoken cultures is something that can be studied with modern tools in computer science. Here is a code repository for a start at this: https://github.com/flowplug/category-theory-alife