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Theatre & Politics

            The drama of revolution is a political text through and through, but it cannot separate the political from the theatre; the drama of revolution is in search of a form, a meta-theatre, in which the overcoming of an order is thus first and foremost the attempt to suspend the law of genre. This essay will examine the role and discourse of the theatre in Brecht, how the relationship between theatre and politics has evolved and look at two plays from the first half of the 20th century. .
             A term indicating theatre used for political purposes, commonly as part of a campaign or movement, and sometimes as part of the work of a political party. At its loosest, it can have a varied application ranging from community theatre to consciousness-raising by groups with a specific identity such as women's, black or gay companies. Its usage is often inaccurate, overlapping with other terms like alternative, guerilla or radical theatre. Each country has its own tradition of political theatre. In the twentieth century the peaks of activity in the industrialized world coincided with two periods of social and political upheaval, the first and major one triggered by the Russian Revolution of 1917 and its aftermath, and the second coming in the 1960s and 1970s. (Chambers 2002) Common themes developed " for peace against war, for democracy and justice against exploitation and tyranny " and common forms too, e.g. Agitprop. This theatre was mostly socialist- or communist-inspired, and often involved professionals working with amateurs in nontraditional venues. By its nature much of the work is transient, but it has also had an important effect on the theatre world through inspirational practitioners such as Piscator, Brecht, Littlewood and Boal.
             The practitioner who was the most influential in the development of such a political theartre wass the writer and director named Bertolt Brecht. As he supported and had a passion for epic theatre, he developed an aesthetcic specifically made to reveal and demystify current illusions in reigning bourgeois ideologies.

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