Contemporary Drama Essay

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Contemporary Drama: Postwar Period until the Present Safyah Saad Almutairi King Abdulaziz University Dr. Ebtissam Fakahani Drama - 614 5 March 2013 Historical events: World War II ended in 1945 after massive killing of 6 million people. Then, the cold war started in the 1950's and changed the face of the world. The cold war led the Soviet Union to disassemble and Many colonized countries got their independence. Additionally, the civil rights movement emerged in the U.S. and racial protests broke out in London against the West Indian immigrants. It provided an environment for new drama to have a wide range of themes to select from ("Contemporary Theatre"). Characteristics of the contemporary drama: Post-war drama went against the realistic drama, because it was still affected by Brecht's theory. It preferred political issues and it tended to mix the reality of life with unrealistic techniques of theatre. It leaded the audience to make rational judgments about the issues presented in the play. Antonin Artaud supported the same theory but instead of choosing politics as the main theme of the play, he preferred religious themes. Artaud introduced the theatre of cruelty which its cruelty laid in showing the audience the type of truth that they don’t want to see. Another successful theatre that marked the characteristics of the postwar era is the ensemble theatre. It is a continuum of Artaud's theory; however, this time the theatre design is more open and the dialogue is less important than what the actors do on stage. Some of the popular techniques of postwar theatre were memory scenes, dream sequences, and the use of symbolic characters ("Drama and Dramatic Arts"). A good example would be Eugene O'Neil's Long Day's Journey Into The Night (1956). A further characteristic of contemporary era is globalization. It helped in the formation of mixed arts and
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