How the Audience Reads Post: Dramatic in Contrast to Realist Theatre

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Question: Contrast the ways an audience can read and make meaning of a post-dramatic / physical theatre piece of performance, with the ways they read and understand realist theatre. Consider how the relationships between performer, role and character are handled, how ambiguity is dealt with and how narrative is created. Providing examples from Tim Etchells’ Forced Entertainment.

Freedom of thought is a liberation of individual thinking, to believe what you want to believe is something that people in the world are still fighting for or are even unaware of its existence today. Nevertheless each factor in life will influence the mentality of people to a certain degree, impacting how they read and interpret situations, text and draw a meaning from. Mentally liberated or confined everybody has a different point of view. Theatre communicates a variety of experiences though presentational and representational forms. With each member of the audience bringing a different perspective to a performance, undoubtedly every interpretation will differ. Although there is no complete control over the audiences interpretation of a performance, it can be manipulated into a certain direction. A Realist production constructs a performance as close to reality as possible, using character and narrative to help portray a specific theme and help the audience passively come to a designed conclusion. Where as Contemporary Theatre, alike presentational, dabbles in the form of ambiguity to allow the audience to actively participate in their own interpretation by stimulating their imagination. Tim Etchells and Forced Entertainment is a post-dramatic theatre company which depicts a range of human experiences illustrated through open-ended, penetrating and compelling performances. How an audience reads Forced Entertainment’s work in comparison to Realist theatre differs due to their separate approaches to theatre conventions and control over ambiguity.

Realist theatre develops a...
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