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Writing The Stage Essay The French, poet, actor and theorist, Antonin Artaud is recognised as one of the most radical influences on theatre in the 20th century.It instead would become a sort of communion between the audience and the actor and make theatre a live experience.
Genius or madman, everything about Artaud is fascinating – his extraordinary life, his passions, his wide-ranging interests, the brilliance and originality that he brought to his plays, his productions and his other writings.
Artaud died in 1948 at the age of fifty-two, but accomplished a revolution in his short life that is still bearing fruit today.
He joined the BBC in 194o, and was producer and scriptwriter in the European Services from 1941 to 1955.
His main aim was to create a new type of theatre that would dismiss the idea of theatre as a mere attraction or entertainment.
It rediscovers the idea of figures and archetypal symbols which act like sudden silences, fermata, heart stops, adrenalin calls, incendiary images surging into our abruptly woken minds.
Antonin Artaud Essay
For theatre can only happen the moment the inconceivable really begins, where poetry taking place on stage, nourishes and superheats created symbols.Watching a play can bring out raw emotions, emotions that are not present in everyday life.The plague brings out chaos, confusion and turmoil; as do emotions when not experienced frequently.This outcome was satisfactory for Artaud as he wanted his work to be shocking, outrageous and alarming; he wanted to be recognised and remembered.Artaud states, The plague takes dormant images, latent disorder and suddenly carries them to the point of the most extreme gestures.It is an escape from everything and everyone in the theatre experiences the same feels, emotions and thoughts; something they cant manipulate or regulate.There is the sense that something important and life changing is about to happen.The main points he raises are: That, like the plague, theatre acts on large groups and disturbs them all in the same way, it does not discriminate.Artaud thought the theatre could impact on anyone and everyone.Founder of the Theatre of Cruelty and a strong influence on Peter Brook, Antonin Artaud dedicated his life and sanity to purging the contemporary French theatre of its bourgeois tendencies. The influence of Antonin Artaud on the contemporary theatre has only become evident since the early Sixties, although writers and directors have been directly or indirectly influenced by his thinking and innovations for many years.