By Lara Stevens

Examining the ways that modern Western theatre protests opposed to the ‘War on Terror’, this e-book analyses six twenty-first century performs that reply to the post-9/11 army operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. The performs are written through essentially the most major writers of this century and the final together with Elfriede Jelinek, Caryl Churchill, Hélène Cixous and Tony Kushner.

Anti-war Theatre After Brecht grapples with the matter of ways to make theatre that protests the guidelines of democratically elected Western governments in a post-Marxist period. It indicates how the net has develop into a key device for disseminating anti-war play texts and the way on-line social media boards are altering conventional dramatic aesthetics and broadening possibilities for spectator entry, engagement and interplay with a piece and the political possible choices it places ahead.

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Extra resources for Anti-War Theatre After Brecht: Dialectical Aesthetics in the Twenty-First Century

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He notes that gestus is an action enclosed in a clearly defined frame with a clear beginning, middle and end which distils the process of living in flux and confines it to a single moment (1973, 3). Brechtian scholar Sean Carney points out that Benjamin’s reading of dialectical activity as static challenges traditional understandings of Hegelian and Marxist dialectics as a process of progressive change (2005, 48). However, both Marx and Hegel acknowledge the problem of grasping a concept that is constantly in motion.

Physical attitude, tone of voice and facial expression are all determined by a social gest: the characters are cursing, flattering, instructing one another, and so on. (1964, 198) Building on the presentational acting Brecht saw in the work of Peking Opera star Mei Lanfang, Brecht explains that gestus can occur in words or actions that show the ‘particular attitude adopted by the speaker towards other men’ (1964, 104). He emphasizes the importance of the broader set of social circumstances that inform a gest, linking the particular to the historical.

1964, 277) Brecht’s association of humour with contradictory behaviour highlights the pleasurable disruption of linear processes with satire and irony as useful tools for critiquing capitalism. Brecht’s appreciation for ‘the joke of 28 L. STEVENS contradiction’ shows that his ideological views are filtered through his artistic sensibilities. Brecht’s reference to a ‘zigzag development’ suggests a dialectical view of historical progress as non-logical, non-linear and capable of backwards, lateral and forward movement.

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