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wat is da theater of creulty?
okay, well antonin artaud started it in the 1930s and this is a really basic explanation but the idea behind it, to my understanding, is to force the audience to face the truth by attacking the senses. it was inspired by sartre’s existential movement but it’s more hopeful because artaud saw potential for change. he believed that life and theatre mirrored each other, so if theatre was sick it was reflecting a sick civilisation, and this form of theatre was intended to inspire the audience to change themselves and society. artaud believed change was possible because he thought he could reach the human mind by shocking it into awareness of reality, of what the world is really like. there is heavy emphasis on lighting, costume & music, and dialogue is minimal. the main elements/techniques employed in the theatre of cruelty are visual poetry, assaulting the senses, creating a dream world and involving the audience. anyway, for some reason, when done well, it just seems to affect me more profoundly than any other type of theatre.
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