Audience relationship theatre of the absurd

Samuel Beckett and the Theater of the Absurd

audience relationship theatre of the absurd

those used in Theatre of the Absurd Plays to convey that style's message of interpersonal relationships and misunderstandings in the text of Beckett's Waiting for . creation of a character that will fulfill anticipated audience response. TH. The Theatre of the Absurd is a post–World War II designation for particular plays of absurdist It aims to shock its audience out of complacency, to bring it face to face with the harsh facts of the human situation as these writers see it. Writers and techniques frequently mentioned in relation to the Theatre of the Absurd. Theatre of the Absurd, dramatic works of certain European and American dramatists of the s and early '60s who agreed with the Existentialist philosopher.

What Is Theatre of the Absurd? As a new production of Samuel Beckett's Endgame by Citizens Theatre director Dominic Hill comes to theatres inwe find out more about a genre that holds a mirror up to ourselves.


Come on then, what is it? The origins of the Theatre of the Absurd are as obscure as the canon of plays associated with it.

What Is Theatre of the Absurd? - An introduction - The Skinny

Emerging in the late s, the Theatre of the Absurd was not a conscious movement and there was no organised school of playwrights who claimed it for themselves. Rather, these men saw themselves as individual artists, not members of a collective, and viewed their plays as nothing more than an expression of their personal vision of the world.

So if absurdist playwrights worked independently of each other, how did they produce plays that were so strangely similar in their rejection of the conventions of traditional theatre? Where does absurdist theatre come from? Born from the ashes of postwar Europe, absurdist theatre reflects an era of spiritual emptiness, a time when the precariousness of human existence was palpable.

audience relationship theatre of the absurd

Following the atrocities of World War Two, to some the world itself had become absurd: The growing popularity of Existentialism in Europe notably in Paris, where many of the absurdist playwrights lived as exileswill also have been influential. The philosophy of Albert Camus, who is credited with first using the word absurd in this sensecertainly had a role to play in the creation of this kind of theatre.

audience relationship theatre of the absurd

How does absurdism work? When absurdist plays first came to the stage, it was a groundbreaking moment in the history of theatre. The term refers to a particular type of play which first became popular during the s and s and which presented on stage the philosophy articulated by French philosopher Albert Camus in his essay, The Myth of Sisyphus, in which he defines the human condition as basically meaningless.

Camus argued that humanity had to resign itself to recognizing that a fully satisfying rational explanation of the universe was beyond its reach; in that sense, the world must ultimately be seen as absurd.

audience relationship theatre of the absurd

The playwrights loosely grouped under the label of the absurd attempt to convey their sense of bewilderment, anxiety, and wonder in the face of an inexplicable universe. Although the Theatre of the Absurd is often traced back to avant-garde experiments of the s and s, its roots, in actuality, date back much further. Absurd elements first made their appearance shortly after the rise of Greek drama, in the wild humor and buffoonery of Old Comedy and the plays of Aristophanes in particular.

Theatre of the Absurd

This tradition would carry over into the Baroque allegorical drama of Elizabethan times, when dramatists such as John WebsterCyril Tourneur, Jakob Biederman and Calderon would depict the world in mythological archetypes. During the nineteenth century, absurd elements may be noted in certain plays by Ibsen and, more obviously, Strindbergbut the acknowledged predecessor of what would come to be called the Theatre of the Absurd is Alfred Jarry 's "monstrous puppet-play" Ubu Roi which presents a mythical, grotesque figure, set amidst a world of archetypal images.

Ubu Roi is a caricature, a terrifying image of the animal nature of man and his cruelty. Their intention was to do away with art as a mere imitation of surface reality, instead demanding that it should be more real than reality and deal with essences rather than appearances.

audience relationship theatre of the absurd

The Theatre of the Absurd was also anticipated in the dream novels of James Joyce and Franz Kafka who created archetypes by delving into their own subconscious and exploring the universal, collective significance of their own private obsessions. Silent film and comedy, as well as the tradition of verbal nonsense in the early sound films of Laurel and Hardy, W. But it would take a catastrophic world event to actually bring about the birth of the new movement.

Theatre of the Absurd Conventions

The global nature of this conflict and the resulting trauma of living under threat of nuclear annihilation put into stark perspective the essential precariousness of human life.

Suddenly, one did not need to be an abstract thinker in order to be able to reflect upon absurdity: Antonin Artaud rejected realism in the theatre, calling for a return to myth and magic and to the exposure of the deepest conflicts within the human mind. He demanded a theatre that would produce collective archetypes and create a modern mythology. It was no longer possible, he insisted, to keep using traditional art forms and standards that had ceased being convincing and lost their validity.

Although he would not live to see its development, The Theatre of the Absurd is precisely the new theatre that Artaud was dreaming of.

audience relationship theatre of the absurd

It openly rebelled against conventional theatre. It was surreal, illogical, conflictless and plotless. The dialogue often seemed to be complete gibberish.

The characters of the play are strange caricatures who have difficulty communicating the simplest of concepts to one another as they bide their time awaiting the arrival of Godot.