The Amphitheatre aristocracy are a well-known group of landed scholars and artists who are often heavily involved with politics and great acts of "social improvement". Generally well-regarded by the middle and upper-classes, and extremely rich, there are few doors that are closed to them. There is some resentment about their seemingly decadent life-style among the working classes, however, and this has been known to make them the targets of disenfranchised dissident groups such as the Houvers.
The group meet once a week at the Folktown Amphitheatre to discuss matters of import, to eat and drink, and sometimes to perform. At one time, the Amphitheatre aristocracy contained one of the greatest theatre companies in the world. Nowadays, with the general decline of theatre the group is dominated by scholars who frequently stage large debates on a wide variety of issues. These debates frequently attract a wide cross-section of the public; from the elite (such as the owners of the Folktown Records weekly newspaper) to the lowly. Many noted artists and artisans are in the group, and they regularly hold exhibitions. Recent popular displays have included trained burnfly swarm sculptures by famed performance artist Bunny Hutch, and a glitterthought work by Siam Sinch (daughter of Bavarian Creame from her previous marriage.)
The group performs many acts of charitable work, providing many civic improvements including recently a well-received collection of statues of the controversially mysterious Alezan pantheon installed in the frontage of the Folktown city council building as part of recent renovation. The group also provides scholarships to centres of learning and the arts for those in the community who show talent. Competition is fierce for these scholarships, decided twice a year, requiring a gruelling series of tests. The winners of these prizes are also accorded the honour of being able to join the Amphitheatre aristocracy (as a probationer at first, and as a full-member should studies be completed) and thus take part in the highest echelons of society.
--Fingest Arnia 04:04 20040902 BST