By Alan Ackerman, Martin Puchner (eds.)
Against Theatre indicates that the main famous writers of contemporary drama shared a thorough rejection of the theatre as they knew it. including designers, composers and movie makers, they plotted to ruin all present theatres. yet from their destruction emerged the main awesome thoughts of modernist theatre.
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Extra info for Against Theatre: Creative destructions on the modernist stage
Xxv. 33. 12. 34. Alfred Jarry, ‘Preliminary Address at the First Performance of Ubu Roi, December 10, 1896’, in Selected Works of Alfred Jarry, 77–8. 35. 44. 36. F. T. Marinetti, E. Settimelli and B. Corra, ‘The Futurist Synthetic Theatre’ , in trans. R. W. Flint and Michael Kirby, Futurist Performance (New York: E. P. 197. 37. 202. 38. 199. 39. These Futurist events bear some resemblance to the actions advocated by Brazilian director Augusto Boal, but his events similarly staged in public spaces were intended to ultimately engage the spectators into discussion that would lead to an alteration of their life circumstances.
The frame has reasserted itself with a vengeance, strongly encasing the post-modern pastiche of images, and erecting, once again, a window frame through which the audience perceives at a distance. From the Symbolists of the 1880s onward to the onset of the postmodern backlash, the avant-garde in particular has continuously gnawed and hacked at the frame and the exclusivity of the stage. Most performance keeps the spectator outside the frame, thereby creating a subject–object relationship. Part of the modernist project has been the attempt to eradicate this dichotomy thereby rendering the subject and object part of a united entity.
By substituting a new set of signs for the stage, they simply referenced the perceived structure of daily existence and therefore, for a brief time, suggested (created an illusion of) a greater reality. In 1971 the Parisian newspaper Le Monde published a chart entitled ‘Two theories of popular theatre’. The chart, clearly echoing Brecht’s famous comparison of epic and dramatic theatre, consisted of two 34 Frames columns, the left categorizing theatre of the 1950s and the right that of the 1970s.
Against Theatre: Creative destructions on the modernist stage by Alan Ackerman, Martin Puchner (eds.)