The Theatre and its Double

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The Theatre and Its Double (Le Théâtre et son Double) is a collection of essays by French poet and playwright Antonin Artaud and published in 1938.

Artaud intended his work as an attack on theatrical convention and the importance of language of drama, opposing the vitality of the viewer's sensual experience against theatre as a contrived literary form, and urgency of expression against complacency on the part of the audience.

The collection's more famous pieces include No More Masterpieces, an attack on what Artaud believed to be the elitism of an irrelevant, outdated literary/theatrical canon, and The Theater of Cruelty, where Artaud expressed the importance of recovering "the notion of a kind of unique language half-way between gesture and thought."

The collection is still read to this day, and strongly influenced the directing philosophies of such renowned figures as Peter Brook. He felt that cruelty was not an act of violence, only a way to show the truth and he showed that by publishing his book.

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