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Antonin Artaud: Theatre of Cruelty

Antonin Artaud’s most profound piece of work was not a poem, not a play, not an acting role, but a theory: Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty. He began to form his Theatre of Cruelty theory after learning of the Balinese theatre that seemed, to him, to share qualities with his ideas about theatre. Artaud held a great respect for Balinese theatre which revolves around dance and actions to convey meaning (Encyclopedia Britannica). More traditional theatre revolves around words to convey meaning. Artaud believed that the specificity of verbal interpretations got in the way of true meaning and that using physical gestures to express thoughts was more effective (Encyclopedia Britannica). He looked at drama as more of a physical act than a…