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Antonin Artaud

For BTEC (Level 3) Extended Diploma in Performing Arts
by

Emma Davis

on 30 May 2013

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Transcript of Antonin Artaud

Antonin Artaud and the Theatre of Cruelty Born 4th September 1896 in Marseille, France as Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud
Died 4th March 1948

His career consisted of:
Writer
Playwright
Actor
Director
Poet I
1931 - First manifesto for the Theatre of Cruelty Theatre of Cruelty He had a number of Health issues:
Meningitis - which made him irritable and nervous
Stammering
Severe bouts of Clinical depression
Opium addiction

He was institutionalized in a sanatorium for 5 years 1920: Moved to Paris and discovered a passion for Avant-Garde Theatre.
1927: His Poems were rejected from "The new French Review"

For cinema, he wrote scenario for The Seashell and the Clergyman and performed the monk Massieu in Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc. Paris The facts Those who live, live off the dead Jacques Rivierre - keep in contact Artaud believed that Theatre should affect the audience as much as possible He would use strange and disturbing forms of lighting sound and performance Also wanted to rid the audience of CIVILISED THOUGHT Rational thinking Making sense Conforming to what we percieve as normal He did this by SHOCKING the audience Oversized stage puppets Flashing lights ATTACKING THE SENSES!!! Visceral Dreams, thoughts, illusions are no less "real" thann the outside world Suffering is essential to existence and all utopias are inevitable dystopia. How? Groans/Screams Task 1-
Vocal Collage Task 2 Re-tell a nursery rhyme using a universal language/no words Artaud wanted to break the actor/audience boundary. How might you do this in your performance of the Nursery Rhyme? Ultimately Artaud wanted the audience to sit on swivel chairs in the centre of the performance space so the action can take place all around him – the chairs could be controlled by the actors to spin and face any way the play demanded The Audience Audience share the space with the actors How could you shock the audience into experiencing the pieces more fully?

How could you make the audience really sit up and take notice? REFLECT EVALUATE Artaud did not leave a system of exercises, productions that we can really reference. It is from the Theatre of Cruelty that we really piece together understanding of his work. The Theatre and its Double Stretching the imagination until near breaking point
Challenging the body to complete extreme moves –pushing the physical boundaries to extremes – the body must go beyond exhaustion into a trance-like state
He wanted the actor to wake his own double (his dream self, his psyche) The audience must have their double aroused by experiencing theatre that jolts them.
It Task 3 In slow-motion, Individually

In a space, work through an everyday ‘ritual’ – i.e. filling a glass of water, making a cup of coffee etc
Then to a strict count from you of 1 – 2 – 3 etc they break the movements into small beats Now try it in pairs,
students have to work together to achieve a synchronised and disciplined result
i.e. putting a sheet on a bed, folding a sheet, Abstract Larger than life movements Now put the movements and the vocal collage together to create a simple abstract piece. Split the group in half: Artaud wanted to get rid of words from his theatre. He thought they were limiting A Universal Language It uses a symbolic language gestures sounds images movement An Artaudian version of Sarah Kane's '4.48 Psychosis'. Task 4 In groups of 4 In groups of 3 In Pairs
Discuss Presentations Antonin Artaud Discuss facts about: What is 'Theatre of Cruelty'? How did he shock his audience? Theatre and its double The audience Universal Language Our Primitive nature Civilised thought Balinese Dancers
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