By Lara Stevens
Examining the ways that modern Western theatre protests opposed to the ‘War on Terror’, this booklet analyses six twenty-first century performs that reply to the post-9/11 army operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. The performs are written through one of the most major writers of this century and the final together with Elfriede Jelinek, Caryl Churchill, Hélène Cixous and Tony Kushner.
Anti-war Theatre After Brecht grapples with the matter of ways to make theatre that protests the guidelines of democratically elected Western governments in a post-Marxist period. It indicates how the net has develop into a key device for disseminating anti-war play texts and the way on-line social media boards are altering conventional dramatic aesthetics and broadening possibilities for spectator entry, engagement and interplay with a piece and the political possible choices it places ahead.
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Additional resources for Anti-War Theatre After Brecht: Dialectical Aesthetics in the Twenty-First Century
It suggests that Brecht’s techniques aim to propel spectators into action that might manifest in a variety of unknowable and unmeasurable ways in the civic sphere. Louis Althusser also highlights the anti-dogmatic nature of Brechtian theatre. In For Marx, Althusser highlights the dialectical tension between consciousness and social conditions that drives the action of Brecht’s plays. He links Brecht’s dialectical method to the real-world praxis of spectators when he writes: If, on the contrary, the theatre’s object is to destroy this intangible image, to set in motion the immobile, the eternal sphere of the illusory consciousness’s mythical world, then the play is really the development, the production of a new consciousness in the spectator – incomplete, like any other consciousness, but moved by this incompletion itself.
The globally industrialized world in which we now find FROM EPIC TO DIALECTICAL THEATRE 29 ourselves needs theatrical forms that can show how conflict and power struggles over petroleum also fuel widespread class-based social, economic and political inequalities and injustices. Throughout his working life, Brechtian aesthetics changed to suit the complex and developing social and political realities of his epoch. Brecht describes the need for experimentation with dramatic form when he writes: ‘The formal difficulties are enormous; I have constantly to construct new models … I make these models because I wish to represent reality (in Adorno et al.
If it is not perceived in its contradictory character it is not perceived at all’ (in Haug 2007, 153). This description of contradiction as a process in flux through his choice of the word ‘proceeds’ suggests that, similar to Marx, Brecht thinks that conflict propels society to develop and change. The idea of reality as contradictory is precisely what conventional dramatic realism seeks to smooth over and disguise. Thus, Brecht finds dialectics a useful alternative form for representing his experience of reality because they highlight disharmony, inconsistency and flux.