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VCE Drama - Theatre of Cruelty
Terms in this set (14)
Theatre of Cruelty (Ideology)
Artaud believed that the world was sick and needed change. Unlike Brecht who thought the problem was with society, Artaud believed that the problem was subconscious. He thought that people were desensitised to feeling after the horrors they had endured so he had to create a theatre that would force them to wake up to the world that they were in through deliberate cruelty.
Visual poetry (Cruelty)
Using movement, gesture and dance rather than words to communicate. Also referred to as stylised movement.
Dreamlike reality (Cruelty)
As Theatre of Cruelty stems from Surrealism, theatre created a dreamlike reality for the audience. Bringing out the psychological aspects of fear and nightmares. Ways to create this included using ritual, masks, strange and exaggerated costume, no scenery but symbolic objects, visual poetry, music and lighting.
Assaulting the senses (Cruelty)
Using all of the above, as well as horrific imagery, Artaud hoped to attack the emotions of the audience so that they would be forced to feel and leave wanting to create change in their world. They were completely invested in the play and the characters.
Involving the audience (Cruelty)
The action took place all around the audience, the audience felt part of the action. The actors could approach or use the audience within the performance.
Embodying characters (Cruelty)
Actors were completely involved in their work and embodied the characters. They were convinced in the truth of their character and setting.
Horrific imagery (Cruelty)
Through the use of movement, projections of photos and film, showing violent, shocking and confronting material to attack the audience's senses.
Artaud hoped that by bombarding the audience's senses, they would undergo an emotional release, or catharsis.
Written poetry (Cruelty)
The written dialogue, often used heightened use of language rather than naturalistic dialogue. Minimal dialogue, more focus on movement and sound. ("We do not intent to do away with dialogue, but to give words something of the significance they have in dreams")
Sound and lighting (Cruelty)
Emphasis on sound as soundscape and stagecraft, and mood lighting to create and manipulate mood and tension. Loud, piercing and hypnotising sound.
Used to create contrast in size with other characters
Used for Surrealist effects
Chorus work (Cruelty)
No focus on individual as an actor, they worked as a Chorus to represent society and the world
The Surrealist movement was centred around dreams and creating a dreamlike reality, this is where both the Theatre of Cruelty and Absurdist movements came from. Theatre of Cruelty extended on this idea by creating nightmarish reality.