Unconventional Theatre of the Absurd Techniques – 50 Explanations
Theatre of the Absurd Origins
The theatre of the absurd was a short-lived yet significant theatrical movement, centred in Paris in the 1950s. The beginnings of absurdism lie in avant-garde theatre experiments during the 1920s and 30s.
It was not a conscious movement per se, and there was no single practitioner spearheading the emergence of this type of drama. Exponents of the form were a disconnected group of playwrights whose works were based on the philosophy of existentialism. These included Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco and Jean Genet (with some scholars also including Arthur Adamov). The movement’s title was first coined by scholar Martin Esslin in his 1961 text The Theatre of the Absurd.
Common elements in absurdist plays included illogical plots inhabited by characters who appeared out of harmony with their own existence. The typical playgoer had never seen anything like this on the European stage.
More contemporary playwrights whose selected works have been labelled absurdist include Harold Pinter, Edward Albee, Tom Stoppard, Fernando Arrabal, and Peter Weiss. However, most of these playwrights deny the label attributed to them.
The theatre of the absurd will be remembered in history for many things, the most significant of these being Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece Waiting for Godot, today regarded as one of the great plays of the 20th century.
I think it is so amazing that this is where we are in society. I wish that we could all distance ourselves from the pain and confusion and loss like Brecht wants us to do as an audience.
Thanks. V helpful.
The theater of the absurd is happening all around us, right now.
We needto bring the absurd to the streets in a joyous celebration of the insanity in us all. Time to add a little color back into the act
Thank you so much for the extremely organised and clear notes! They have helped me immensely, as lots of useful information is presented in such a succinct manner, meaning i don’t have to read pages and pages of writing to find the one sentence that i actually need.
Thank you again!
Miss faida ! are you done with your theise. ??Now I am doing my master thseis on absurdist tropes in Muhammad Hanif’s red birds. can you help me out?
When was this page first posted (for citing it as a source)?
Bailey, 8 January 2015. -– Justin
Thank you so much! This helped me in my theatre class and I got an A.
That’s great news, Claire. Congratulations on your “A”! Thanks for taking the time to offer your feedback. – Justin
very clear and easy to understand for the students
Amazing and perfect for students understanding. I found it very helpful and easy.Thanks
Thanks for your feedback, Kashish!
Thank you for your kind feedback, Thea. Much appreciated!
Thanks Justin, I always use your website as a reference for my students.
Hope you know how truly great http://www.dramateacher.com is for many Drama teachers!
A big thanks. It helped me for my notes.
Brilliantly succinct summary. Thanks!
Thanks for the feedback Ralph! Much appreciated.
Very useful informative, motivated
Thank you so much…. it is really helpful
I am doing w thesis of master degree about Absurd Theatre (the zoo story / who is afraid of virgenia woolf written By Edward Albee ) i’ll be thankful if you can help me bye some resources . thanks a lot
Nice piece of work !
Thanks for your kind feedback, Nkemdilim. – Justin
Nice study 🙂
Thanks for your work! Very helpful.
My pleasure Camille. Thanks for your feedback.
Hi this was a true inspearimiration to me.
This is an excellent summary brings back memories of undergraduate Theatre study. I really enjoy reading the entries from this blog, thank you again
Thanks, really useful summary!
Just a note, my lecturer at University used to point at the language of Beckett as ‘poetic’, especially in Waiting for Godot.