|About the Book|
Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud, better known as Antonin Artaud, was a French playwright, poet, essayist, actor, and theatre director.Considered among the most influential figures in the evolution of modern drama theory, Antonin Artaud associated himself with Surrealist writers, artists, and experimental theater groups in Paris during the 1920s.When political differences resulted in his break from the Surrealists, he founded the Theatre Alfred Jarry with Roger Vitrac and Robert Aron. Together they hoped to create a forum for works that would radically change French theatre. Artaud, especially, expressed disdain for Western theatre of the day, panning the ordered plot and scripted language his contemporaries typically employed to convey ideas, and he recorded his ideas in such works as Le Theatre de la cruaute and The Theatre and Its Double.Artaud believed that theatre should represent reality and, therefore, affect the audience as much as possible, therefore he used a mixture of strange and disturbing forms of lighting, sound, and other performance elements.Artaud wanted to put the audience in the middle of the spectacle (his term for the play), so they would be engulfed and physically affected by it. He referred to this layout as being like a vortex - a constantly shifting shape - to be trapped and powerless.