Theater: Capacity to Transform Our Perceptions of the World We Live In

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Drama essay
“Theatre has the capacity to transform our perceptions of the world we live in” To what extent is this statement true of two twentieth century theatre practitioners you have studied. The theatre has tremendous capacity to transform our perceptions of the world. Two theatre practitioners who had strong beliefs in this statement were Vsevolod Meyerhold and Augusto Boal. Both Meyerhold and Boal believed that theatre had the power to transform the way we look at the world, each displaying these with different methods and techniques. Meyerhold rejected Stanislavsky’s theory of naturalism and felt theatre is a place of expression, while Boal placed greater emphasis on his belief that everyone can act. His Theatre examined oppressions in society and how to overcome these oppressions. Meyerhold, from an early age had a keen interest in the theatre. He studied at the Moscow Art theatre, under the famous Stanislavski. He rejected Stanislavsky’s theatre of naturalism, and replaced this with anti-illusionistic theatre. His theatre style was influenced by several other styles, these included commedia dell arte, Kabuki, Noh theatre and Vaudeville, Meyerhold was influenced by these styles because of their emphasis on Physicality and movement. He liked to simplify and reduce an idea or issue to its barest part. He often did this by looking at a script and judging what needed to be cut or added to it, till it suited his purpose. He used rhythm and music in his performance and saw theatre like a musical score being performed. He liked precision; to help with this precision he had his actors trained in biomechanical exercises, a range of exercises which help an actor increase control over their physical dexterity. One of these exercises, otherwise known as etudes, is called “the slap”, and involves two actors, standing not to far apart, feet parallel to one another. The exercise then goes through a range of movements that mimic a theatrical slap. The exercise, to be...
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