Artaud – Rhinegold Publishing



The aim of this scheme of work is to provide AS or A2 students with the necessary knowledge and practical experience to successfully use Antonin Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty as the basis for practical work. Artaud is without a doubt the most inspiring A-level practitioner, allowing students the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild and value all theatrical skill areas, from movement and dance, genuine theatrical experimentation, lighting, sound and costume. He actively encourages students to take on challenging and controversial themes, what Artaud referred to as those ‘universal truths’ that so powerfully affect us. Through studying Artaud, students encounter Surrealism, Balinese Dance, the Marx Brothers and the possibilities of creating a style of theatre that directly confronts the spectator. Shocking, profoundly affecting theatre that is aimed at the senses to create a primal intuitive response. Simply, the work affects the spectators on an emotional level rather than encouraging an intellectual response. Theatre which, according to Artaud, ‘satisfies the senses.’ It is freedom from the Stanislavskian straight-jacket of tired naturalism and soap opera issues. All you need is some students who are willing to take some theatrical risks and an MP3 player and some speakers.

Learning objectives:

  • Developing physical performance skills
  • Allowing other performance skills to be used in presentations
  • A deliberately experimental approach to theatre
  • A move away from naturalism
  • A clear opportunity to use sound and music (and perhaps some lighting)
  • Experimentation with audience position
  • Research skills
  • Building experience of devising
  • A focus on a specific audience response

Number of lessons: 19

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