Surrealism and theatre  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
The Breasts of Tiresias, Symbolist theatre

Surrealist theater depicts the subconscious experience, moody tone and disjointed structure, sometimes imposing a unifying idea.

Antonin Artaud, one of the original Surrealists, rejected Western theatre as a perversion of the original intent of theatre, which he felt should be a religious and mystical experience. He thought that rational discourse comprised "falsehood and illusion," which embodied the worst of discourse. Endeavouring to create a new theatrical form that would be immediate and direct, linking the unconscious minds of performers and spectators, a sort of ritual event, Artaud created the Theatre of Cruelty where emotions, feelings, and the metaphysical were expressed not through text or dialogue but physically, creating a mythological, archetypal, allegorical vision, closely related to the world of dreams.

These sentiments also led to the Theatre of the Absurd whose inspiration came, in part, from silent film and comedy, as well as the tradition of verbal nonsense in early sound film (Laurel and Hardy, W. C. Fields, the Marx Brothers).



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Surrealism and theatre" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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