Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud and His Theatrical Techniques

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‘There’s no experiment in theatre in the last fifty years that hasn’t, knowingly or not, owed something to Artaud’s catechism.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud was a French playwright who revolutionised the world of playwrights. His given genre of playwrights is known as ‘Avante-garde theatre’. Artaud was very experimental and innovative with his playwrights, very much pushing the boundaries when writing them. He believed that theatre should be a clear representation of reality itself, and believed the actors should interact with the audience themselves, in order to give the audience the best experience possible when watching theatre. He made this evident through the use of strange and somewhat disturbing forms of lighting, sound, and other performing elements. Artaud’s theatrical techniques have had a major influence on playwrights in the modern day, but in his time Artaud was influenced by other theatre practitioners as well as artists such as Seneca, Shakespeare, Poe, Lautréamont, Alfred Jarry, and André Masson. Modern day practitioners such as Peter Brooks have taken great inspiration from Artaud’s ‘Theatre of Cruelty’, as well as being the source of inspiration for the popular ‘Living Theatre’ of New York City, another experimental theatre company. The legacy of Artaud is said to be one of the most influential figures in the evolution of drama. Although in his time Artaud only showcased one of his many plays, The ‘Theatre Of Cruelty’, a play in which consisted of little dialogue, but more incorporating Artaud’s belief for the importance of space and set. Through the Theatre of Cruelty, Artaud expressed his belief of what he thinks all theatre should contain. The Theatre of Cruelty has been created in order to restore to the theatre a passionate and convulsive conception of life, and it is in this sense of violent rigour and extreme condensation of scenic elements that the cruelty on which it is based must be understood. This...
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