Download PDF by Annette Saddik: Contemporary American Drama

By Annette Saddik

This ebook explores the advance of latest theatre within the usa in its old, political and theoretical dimensions. It makes a speciality of consultant performs and function texts that test with shape and content material, discussing influential playwrights and function artists reminiscent of Tennessee Williams, Adrienne Kennedy, Sam Shepard, Tony Kushner, Charles Ludlum, Anna Deavere Smith, Karen Finley and should energy, along avant-garde theatre groups.

Saddik lines the advance of up to date drama in view that 1945, and discusses the cross-cultural impression of postwar British and ecu strategies on American theatre from the Nineteen Fifties to the current day for you to study the functionality of yankee identification. She argues that modern American theatre is basically a postmodern drama of inclusion and variety that destabilizes the inspiration of mounted identification and questions the character of reality.

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Since naturalism is ultimately a deterministic philosophy that aims to reproduce a specific view of reality, Brecht would reject it too as thwarting the possibilities of social change. Brecht therefore saw both conventional nineteenth-century drama (melodrama and the well-made play) and the new forms of realism and naturalism as limited politically, as these philosophies presented a static world view and reinforced the status quo, albeit through different methods. In contrast to the artificial constructions of melodrama and the well-made play, the ‘artificiality’ of Brecht’s drama does not aim simply to entertain (although it should, he insists, be pleasurable), but rather to distance the audience from emotional involvement and thereby instruct and inspire thought.

Artaud aimed to destroy the veneer of civilisation and force the spectator to confront a more primitive state, undermining the rational discourse of the audience.  The Good Woman of Setzuan by Bertolt Brecht (English version by Eric Bentley),  production La MaMa’s Great Jones Repertory Company. Directed by Andrei Serban, music composed by Elizabeth Swados. 6 As Elin Diamond writes in ‘The shudder of catharsis’, Artaud sought ‘an immediate and physical language’ for the theatre (Artaud’s words), which would penetrate the spectators, ‘act .

Theatre then becomes the transformative and the real, not simply the representation. This move away from realism’s concern with the exploration of psychological problems of individuals and society, and towards a theatre connected to the unconscious mind (favouring intuition, feeling and experience over reason and celebrating these sensory impulses through ritualistic presentation), along with Brecht’s anti-mimetic, politically charged emphasis on social transformation through the motivations of intellect, laid the foundation for a rejection of realism and the emergence of the anti-realistic dramatic styles that would characterise European experimental theatre after the Second World War and well into the s and s.

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