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By A. Sidiropoulou

A historic, theoretical, and comparative learn of the emergence of the director-as-author phenomenon, posing questions of authorship and redefining the connection among 'playwright' and the director-playwright.

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40) It is questionable how successful Craig’s theories on acting would have been, had they ever been put into practice, betraying as they did, a guileless conceptualism mostly inapplicable on the stage. Ironically, although Craig shared Reinhardt’s emphasis on “mechanics” and the catholic use of the actor’s body, the latter’s experiments in controlled acting were much more effective. Reinhardt’s company was perhaps the only troupe in Europe that proved itself able to realize most of those pioneers’ theatrical vision.

Defiant and potentially destructive, his understanding of cruelty, at least in theory, remains perhaps a valid means of safeguarding theatre’s vitality within any aesthetically and ideologically jaded context. Thus guided by his devotion to cruelty, in his quest for the origins of theatre, Artaud turns to archetypes and symbols, which substitute for the narrative’s psychologically defined characters and misleading signifiers, affecting audiences in a chthonic, yet also cathartic way. He understands stage poetry to be both the result and the generator of such symbols, embodying latent forces and tensions that exist within people.

At the same time, even though Copeau believed in the text, its rhythms and sounds, he favored theatre’s communal function: the stage was a medium which could by definition bring people together, but to do so it had to rely on the guidance of an enlightened director-guru acting as a spiritual guide. 14 Serving the same purpose of restoring for the people theatre’s lost sense of community, Erwin Piscator (1893–1966), an advocate of art’s social function, advanced in the 1920s what he called epic theatre.

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