Revolutionary content looks for a revolutionary form!

Reformers of theatre have reformulated Plato’s opposition between choros and theatre as one between the truth of the theatre and the simulacrum of the spectacle. … Since German Romanticism, thinking about theatre has been associated with this idea of the living community. … the community as a way of occupying a place and a time, as the body in action as opposed to a mere apparatus of laws; a set of perceptions, gestures and attitudes that precede and pre-form laws and political institutions. … Hence reform of theatre meant the restoration of its character as assembly or ceremony of the community. Theatre is an assembly in which ordinary people become aware of their situation and discuss their interests, says Brecht following Piscator. It is, claims Artaud, the purifying ritual in which a community is put in possession of its own energies. If theatre thus embodies the living community, as opposed to the illusion of mimesis, it is not surprising that the desire to restore theatre to its essence can draw on the critique of the spectacle.
—Jacques Rancière, The Emancipated Spectator

New Tendencies in Theater
by Asja Lācis

Art is not an end in itself, yet it helps to achieve the ultimate goals of humankind. In this sense, art and socialism have to walk hand in hand. 

“Making art is similar to that of making explosives; a day will come when this dynamite of art will be thrown against the walls of the prison of faith. The walls will explode and this prison will be transformed into life,” wrote Andrei Bely.

Even today theater frequently is seen as only a leisure activity, an amusement. Sometimes it can become didactic, at times moralizing, like a walking feuilleton. This is not the path that a revolutionary theater should follow. As a revolutionary politician protests against the old economical and social regime, which slays the free spirit of humankind, a revolutionary artist protests against old academic and frozen forms, which have grown out of capitalism, and rather moves toward the new, fresh forms of art. Natural theater has become too narrow, too immobile to express vanguard (flaming) and exploratory ideas and endeavors. New theater is inclined toward symbols, a stylized realism and simplicity—it strives to express a maximum of thought and action with a minimum of means in a concentrated manner. Revolutionary content looks for a revolutionary form!

Asja Lācis

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