By Lara Stevens
Examining the ways that modern Western theatre protests opposed to the ‘War on Terror’, this e-book analyses six twenty-first century performs that reply to the post-9/11 army operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. The performs are written by means of essentially the most major writers of this century and the final together with Elfriede Jelinek, Caryl Churchill, Hélène Cixous and Tony Kushner.
Anti-war Theatre After Brecht grapples with the matter of ways to make theatre that protests the rules of democratically elected Western governments in a post-Marxist period. It indicates how the net has turn into a key device for disseminating anti-war play texts and the way on-line social media boards are altering conventional dramatic aesthetics and broadening possibilities for spectator entry, engagement and interplay with a piece and the political possible choices it places ahead.
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Additional info for Anti-War Theatre After Brecht: Dialectical Aesthetics in the Twenty-First Century
Brecht’s response to the East Berlin workers’ strikes on 17 June 1953 highlighted the contradiction between the generous Soviet funding Brecht received as a GDR playwright and director and the unsatisfactory realities of workers’ conditions and wages in East Berlin. In response to the June strikes, Brecht wrote a letter to the SED that became controversial when one sentence expressing his allegiance to the Party (and implicit support for its military suppression of the strike) was taken out of context and used as Party propaganda.
This is confirmed in correspondence between Korsch and Brecht in which Brecht describes dialectics as ‘a coherent sequence of intelligible methods which allows the dissolution of certain rigid ideas and the assertion of praxis against prevailing ideologies’ (in Haug 2007, 156). In this definition, it is clear that Brecht wants to use the dialectic as a tool for dissolving what is ‘natural’ in the existing capitalist system. Furthermore, his allusion to praxis points to his belief, shared with Marx, that dialectics could be a potential catalyst for consciousness-raising and practical revolutionary action.
As we will see in the following chapters, the slowing down of key moments in the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine, and the unequal social relations revealed in these decelerations, offer strategic tools for contemporary plays to critique and parody the less visible ideological and economic motivations underlying the twenty-first-century invasions in the Middle East. 42 L. STEVENS SPECTATORSHIP, DOGMA AND DEFAMILIARIZATION IN THE AGE OF LATE CAPITALISM We have now seen the ways that Brecht used dialectical aesthetics in the techniques of Verfremdungseffekt and gestus, strategies that reveal the contradictions of socio-economic relations under capitalism.
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