ERIC Number: ED236720
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
In Search of a Poetic Drama for the Post-Modernist Age.
Flannery, James W.
The ideas and techniques of post-modernist art and the imagist theatre represent an important preparatory stage in the revival of poetic drama. During the 1960s and early 1970s, a number of experimental companies rebelled against the realism of the American theatre and began to produce works that stressed emotional authenticity in acting, active audience participation, and improvisation over written texts. While exploring the feelings beneath language, these companies neglected the craft of language. In recent years a number of artists have combined the innovative boldness of the previous avant garde with a renewed respect for formalist ideas and craftsmanship. One of the more outstanding results of their efforts, the Theatre of Images, at once involves the audience and draws attention to the methods of manipulating audience response through such techniques as abrupt changes in mood and highly stylized characterization. Post-modernist theatre also uses myth, metaphor, and allegory to create a shared body of knowledge between spectators and audience or to establish an ironic contrast with popular culture. Although with its reduction of discursive speech and the mimetic function of the actor, imagist theatre at times becomes overly abstract, it does represent a significant step in the recreation of poetic drama. (MM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Theater History; United States
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Theatre Association (Minneapolis, MN, August 7-10, 1983).