Slave Ship 1
Topics: Theatre / Pages: 2 (420 words) / Published: May 8th, 2015

Cicily Riggs
Dr. Koger
History of Theatre II
April 20, 2015
Slave Ship Experimental theatre or avant garde theatre was a big deal in the 1960s because of the social, political, and economical issues at that time. One of these major issues at that time was the African American equality movement. Amiri Baraka, a poet and dramatist, focuses on this topic in his works. One of his most famous works, Slave Ship, is a one-act play that is the epitome of experimental theatre. It uses the elements of collapse of boundaries and randomness to make the audience feel uncomfortable and confused. Throughout this one-act play, the audience is constantly involved and the boundaries are always broken. In the beginning, even though the stage is dark, does not mean that there are not things happening. Baraka wanted to include all of the senses before the audience was fully into it. He wanted them to smell the filth from the shipyard and the salt from the sea, hear the ship crackling under pressure and the moaning of slaves, and then finally see what the audience had been sensing. Throughout the play, cast members go throughout the audience and scream. Finally, near the end, there is a celebration and Baraka made a stage note to start grabbing the audience members and dancing with them. Obviously, this is the perfect way to break the fourth wall and include them in the theatrical, revolutionary process. The other element that is found in Slave Ship is the sense of randomness. Throughout the entire show, the audience is left confused by words and a plot line that does not seem to be going anywhere. There are many people saying things at the same time, screaming and shouting names into the eternal void. While reading this, it was hard to focus as to what was actually happening in the play and the script. One has to focus on the stage management and descriptions that one cannot concentrate on the actual acting and context of the script. There is a lot of busyness

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