For 9/28 – Week #3A

The one addition that I would like to make to this week is to have you watch this short video from Oscar Eustis, the Artistic Director of the Public Theater, and respond to the prompt below.


Choose one theatre-maker from week #1 or #2 and one theatre-maker from week #3. How would they answer the following three questions? How would YOU answer them?

  1. What is the role of the audience in the theatre? Why do people go to the theatre?
  2. Is there a difference between propoganda and political theatre?
  3. Does the aesthetic experience of the political one matter most? Are we willing to forgo an aesthetic experience in exchange for an urgent political one?

4 thoughts on “For 9/28 – Week #3A

  1. 1) I feel like the role of the audience can change from show to show and even production to production, but their main purpose is to bear witness to the events on stage and to experience them in some way, primarily emotionally. I believe Arthur Miller would agree that theatre is to be relatable to everyone regardless of status, meaning that everyone should have some reaction to it.

    2) Political theatre should aim to be diplomatic to either side of the argument unless what is being argued is someone’s basic human rights. Brecht might argue that there is no such difference because whatever politic you are presenting must be argued directly to/with the audience.

    3) I think Adolph Appia would argue that both can coexist, but that the politics should take precedence, both in terms of overall importance, and in the design itself. Meaning, the political message should not only be at the forefront of the director’s mind, but of the designers’ minds as well, allowing the message to shine via the design, not compete against it.

  2. 1. The role of the audience is the main reason why theatre is the why it is which is to relate or somewhat feel the emotions and events that are being displayed in the plays and or playwrights. Many play are designed to relate to the audience and with that anyone can relate or feel sadness or happiness or any emotions the Play wants you to relate to. Tennessee Willams and many other play writers believe that the audience no matter who you may be or went though should relate to any theatre and feel the emotions that are being displayed towards the audience.
    2. I believe there is a difference between Propaganda and Political theatre because in propaganda one aims to side with one specific side either in government and presenting how that side is better through photos, speeches and etc. But in Political theatre it talks about societal issues, Political and cultural issues and brings light to them and either their advantages and disadvantages within society without choosing a specific side but being neutral but making it known that something is happening in society but if it is something major that must be known it will perceived as that in certain plays such as that of Osvaldo Dragún in which his plays were political talking about issues in Argentina but at the same time but at the same time causes people to act rationally after viewing his plays. In a way a play relates to what is happening around them in society and with that the audience can relate

    3. Many like Augusto Boal believe that no matter your background or your position in the Theatre world you have the power and ability to spread a positive message to a large audience presence.With these aspects the threat is able to cause change within society no matter what it may be and change society for the greater good it is not lead by the play writer themselves but by the actors and or actresses that display such an emotion for many to relate to as well as the scenes that allow people to relate to such an event and give out a message that change is coming and we must join together to be the change that the world needs right now.

  3. 1: The role of the audience is wholly dependent on the needs and wants of the production/director/playwright. Whatever the story the playwright is presenting/ making a comment on, the audience is used either as a passive listener, or could enact a more active role. Such as being riled up by the action of the play, responding to it either positively or negatively. The audience plays the role that the playwrights assign them depending on a production.
    Beckett’s plays cater to the audience as they often reflect the struggles of the working class, creating characters on stage that the audience can sympathize with. Beckett’s plays also have relevancy with their ability to pertain to the entire audience as the prominent themes in his work deal with the inevitability of time. Beckett saw the audience as a means to reflect on the bigger, philosophical themes of life.
    To Boal, the audience plays an active role in theater. The audience goes to the theater to feel empowered to create political change and to see the injustices of the world and rather watch, act upon it.

    2: Propaganda is a political tool that can be utilized within theatrical productions to serve a political power’s bias. While everything, whether intentional or not, is political, I believe the difference is that a play can be political in its commentary or message of current political times without blatantly pushing the agenda of a political party.
    To Boal, propaganda theater can be used to push a particular political agenda, however, political theater can exist also to comment and be critical of current political powers that may be exploiting the lower classes.
    3: Both aesthetics and politics have the capability to coexist within a production, yet it’s the political message that should be at the forefront of the play, what it is trying to convey to the audience. How it conveys it I would argue is as important. I believe Boal would disagree, believing that the plays production aesthetics matters less than the political message, as that is at the heart of the play.

  4. Theatre is democracy. I agree with this review. I think that the audience has the most important in the theatre because they have a point of view. And you’re a subjective viewer in the audience. I think political theatre and propaganda. They come together one in one because you learn something new from storytelling even you disagree. It’s funny that shakespear in the park is free. However the tickets nearly impossible.

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