15 Theatre of the Absurd Reference Materials

15 Theatre of the Absurd Reference Materials

The Theatre of the Absurd began in Paris in the early 1950s with a number of European playwrights. Influenced by Jean-Paul Sartre’s notion of existentialism, Absurdist plays commonly consisted of illogical dialogue, cyclical plots that ended where they began, characters who lacked motivation, and a strong sense of timelessness. Most of the conventional rules of theatre were deliberately, sometimes shockingly broken. The existential view of man’s meaningless existence out of harmony with the world (in essence, “absurd”) was visibly portrayed in works of the movement, most notably in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1953). 

Naturalism: 25 Useful Theatre Resources

Naturalism: 25 Useful Theatre Resources

The naturalistic theatre movement emerged in the mid 19th century and was first introduced by French novelist, critic and playwright Emile Zola in the preface to his novel Thérèse Raquin (1867), which the author later adapted into a stage play (first performed in 1873). Naturalism demanded a slice of life authenticity in every aspect of production and is not to be confused with realism.

Realism: Helpful Theatre Resources for Students

Realism: Helpful Theatre Resources for Students

Realism as a theatre movement emerged in Europe in the latter part of the 19th century. As a genuine theatre style, realism was a reaction against romanticism and the sensationalism of melodrama which dominated the stages of Europe and America for much of the 1800s. The realistic movement continues to influence theatre to this day.

Surrealism Theatre Resources

Surrealism Theatre Resources

Surrealism in the theatre was noticeably less prominent than in the visual arts, centring mainly in Paris in the 1920s. Typical conventions included dream sequences, illogical plots and fantasy elements. This avant-garde theatre movement was the very antithesis of realism. Theatre practitioner Antonin Artaud was briefly associated with the surrealists. The form paved the way for future movements such as Theatre of the Absurd. – Justin Cash

20th Century Play Scripts

20th Century Play Scripts

A small selection of well-known out-of-copyright scripts from famous playwrights. Scripts include Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, J.M. Synge’s Playboy of the Western World, George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. – Justin Cash Beyond The Horizon Candida The Cherry Orchard Dark Lady of the Sonnets Endgame The Hairy Ape In The Shadow of the Glen Krapp’s Last Tape…

Theatre of Cruelty

Theatre of Cruelty

The Theatre of Cruelty is a form of theatre developed by avant-garde playwright, actor, essayist, and theorist, Antonin Artaud, in The Theatre and its Double. Originally a member of the surrealist movement, Artaud eventually began to develop his own theatrical theories. The Theatre of Cruelty can be seen as break with traditional Western theatre, and…