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The Playwrights Forum > General > Question & Answer > On the Theatre of the Absurd and such

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On the Theatre of the Absurd and such  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Tue Dec 6th, 2011 04:41 pm
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RTurco
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Mana: 
Hey everyone.

So I'm working on my next play right now and it seems to be going well. It's kind of a new bend for me-- I've been mostly into realism up to this point, but with this new piece, I'm sort of delving into the absurd. I dipped into it a little with my short commision about facial hair, but this one's a little more involved. What do we all think of "the Absurd" and absurdism around here. Do it bother you that it often has no point? I personally love Beckett's "Waiting for Godot", just wondering what others think.

~ RTurco

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 Posted: Tue Dec 6th, 2011 04:46 pm
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Edd
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Mana: 
Theatre of the Absurd does have a point, usually philosophical. I did my final paper on Theatre of the Absurd and Theatre of Cruelty. Pointlessness has no place in Theatre.

Just a gentle nudge, my friend.

~Edd

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 Posted: Tue Dec 6th, 2011 04:52 pm
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RTurco
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Mana: 
I get what you mean. I understand that it has a point, in illustrating that human life is inherently meaningless, I was just echoing what I commonly hear from detractors. Maybe it's the often nonsensical dialogue that gets in people's way, but I personally enjoy all the banter. Have you read a novel called "The Stranger" by Camus. His work provided the foundations for absurdism. Some people like it, others don't get it. Just wondering what your thoughts on it are.

What's Theatre of Cruelty?

Last edited on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 04:53 pm by RTurco

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 Posted: Tue Dec 6th, 2011 05:34 pm
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Edd
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Mana: 
Get your hands on some Antonin Artaud and Peter Weiss. Theatre of Cruelty pretty much began with Artaud and pretty much ended, at least for me, with Weiss' Marat/Sade.

I love Camus (more than Sartre). And, yes, I read "The Stranger" by Camus, who was, more or less, a playwright philosopher as was Sartre. Beckett, Irish who wrote mainly in French, concerned himself with the diminishing morality of mankind. Perhaps, existentialism is best expressed in French.

Sadly, too many young playwrights miss the seriousness of the world-view of the human condition when writing nonsense and calling it absurdism.

I'm conjuring old thoughts from nearly half a century ago and transcending my league.

That's it. No more.

XO,
Edd

P.S. Kato McNickle, who is a member of this forum and whose Theatre education is profound and more contemporary than mine, could provide you with much insight and more thoroughly so, than I've given. You can find her on facebook.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 6th, 2011 09:12 pm
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RTurco
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Mana: 
Artaud and Weiss. Cool. I'll have to check them out.

Well, I don't know if my play is nonsense. It makes some logical sense in my head, of course. I guess you the readers will have to see if it makes any sense to you.

Maybe the absurd writer especially isn't the best one to judge his work... because he will invariably understand what he's written.

I'll post it when I've finished and done a little review.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 7th, 2011 05:40 am
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in media res
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Mana: 
edd wrote,

"Sadly, too many young playwrights miss the seriousness of the world-view of the human condition when writing nonsense and calling it absurdism."

I call it the "Second Citiazation" or the "Satuday Night Livazation" of American theatre.

Everyone is "looking for the laugh." But laughs have nothing to do with "Theater of the Absurd."

Find the book "Theater of the Absurd" by Martin Esslin for a good, brief introduction/overview. You can find a lot of good books at alibris.com. Or maybe at your local library.

Best to you, MTurco. You are an inquisitive writer. I know I have said welcome before, but welcome again!

in media res

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 Posted: Thu Dec 8th, 2011 04:19 pm
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RTurco
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Mana: 
I'll definitely take a look at that book! Thanks in media res.

Well I hope my play isn't too funny to be absurd; it's definitely ripe with jokes based on illogical logic and failures of communication, though I hope it's not to the extent that it will confuse and bore the audience, thus hurting the piece and clouding the theme.

I'm about 40 pages into the piece (this one's really flying by)  and I feel like it's finally taking a more definite, though slightly darker, shape. The first 30 or so pages I feel have been almost like banter, though banter pregnant with meaning. I'll have to take a close look at how this transition plays out in revisions. Assuming its all a natural part of the craft, these developments that come with simply writing.

 

Cheers all.

~ RTurco

Last edited on Thu Dec 8th, 2011 04:21 pm by RTurco

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 Posted: Mon Jan 30th, 2012 10:28 pm
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RTurco
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Mana: 
Well I've finished the piece. And while I think its a promising one, I'm just not sure if it's very absurd. For one thing, its got a lot of humor in it and I just don't know if that discounts its absurdity. Would anyone like to take a look at it to see what kind of sentiments it conjurs up?

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