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Antonin Artaud

Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) is a French playwright and theoretician who is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the development of modern theatre. His philosophy of theatre, which he dubbed the ‘theatre of cruelty’, has had a profound impact on the way we understand and create theatre today. Artaud’s ideas about theatre were shaped by his experiences of mental illness, his fascination with ancient and primitive cultures, and his rejection of traditional theatre conventions.

Artaud’s concept of the theatre of cruelty was born out of his belief that theatre should not merely entertain an audience, but should also provoke and challenge them. He believed that theatre should be a visceral, physical experience that engages the audience’s senses and emotions. This meant rejecting traditional notions of character, plot and dialogue, and instead emphasizing the physical elements of theatre such as movement, sound, and light. According to Artaud, the theatre of cruelty sought to create a direct, raw connection between the performer and the audience.

Something that Artaud experimented with frequently was space between the audience and actors. Having the actors perform in a space with the audience surrounding them. This is similar to what we are doing in our play as we are performing on a thrust staging. He also believed that the relationship between actors and audience should be more intimate and the way we are doing this by having characters enter the audience for certain scenes.

A lot of Artuads performances had a large emphasis on lighting and sound he wanted it loud and overwhelming this is similar to our play as we want the ending scenes to be extremely overwhelming for the audience overloading their senses.,powerful%20as%20the%20spoken%20word.


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