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Political theatre - Essay Example

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It had been true that theatre had largely influenced public opinion over various periods. For example, the fools and comedians in the…
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Political theatre

th such exclusive motive had been classified as political theatre, which is no more the case, as “in one way or another all performance and theatre can be seen as involved in discourses of power” (Baz Kershaw, The Radical in Performance, 1999, p63). As any work of art needs to hold up a faithful mirror to nature (Aristotle, Poetics), and political theatre in general aims at representing social, political, cultural problems to the audience, political theatre in the modern period does not only represent but politicizes the representations, by either breaking the traditional representations or reinforcing them. They are sometimes known as experimental theatre or post-modern theatre (Auslander, 1987). In a way, they are part of any representations in any theatre and there is no more a separate political theatre.
This is true in the modern and post-modern context after the rise of radical thinking and modern theories which politicize the dichotomies in the society. Each theory focuses on specific aspects of dichotomies; for example, Feminism politicizes body, gender identities and the otherness of women, while Post-colonialism focuses on the problem of cultural identity and politics. However, each one of them is concerned about power relations in the society and focuses more on the differences than on the similarities, unlike Modernism. In this context, any representation and use of language is no more a narrative but becomes a part of discourse making any theatre a political theatre.
According to Baz Kershaw, as a consequence of the radical change in the literary theory, there is no more exclusive political theatre but all performances are political discourses in some way (Baz Kershaw, The Radical in Performance, 1999). To trace the history of literary theory of drama, Aristotle’s Poetics offers the actors power to think and act on behalf of the audience enacting them thereby enabling catharsis; however, the radical change has empowered the audience and ... Read More
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