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Theatre of Cruelty

  The French theorist, actor, and director Antonin Artaud coined the term Theatre of Cruelty to refer to his idea of a theatre that should communicate to its audiences at a visceral level like a plague, rather than through words. His aim was to address the unconscious and liberate the imagination through a form of total theatre. His influence on directors from Brook and Barrault to Grotowski and Marowitz has been widespread, and his work, deriving from surrealism has affinities with the Theatre of the Absurd. TRG SS

Further reading A. Artaud, The Theatre and its Double; , M. Esslin, Artaud; , J.L. Styan, Modern Drama in Theory and Practice 2: Symbolism, Surrealism and the Absurd.



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