The Cradle Theatre

A History Of Documentary Theatre

Written on January 16, 2023   By   in Uncategorized

A History Of Documentary Theatre

Documentary Theatre is a genre of theatre which uses non-fictional sources and interviews to tell a story. Its purpose is usually to raise awareness and promote a change in public opinion. However, it is also used as a form of entertainment. In recent years, Documentary Theatre has branched out into several distinct styles and is considered a vital part of the theatre scene. This article will explore the history and the current state of the art in documentary theatre.

A documentary theatre play can be a very complicated piece of work. The subject can be an individual or a group. The play may be based on an actual event, such as the Crown Heights riots in Brooklyn, or an announcement of a major event, such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks or the election of Julia Gillard to the position of Prime Minister of Australia.

A documentary theater play typically does not have a set or background music. Instead, the actor changes their costume and body language to express their interpretation of the event. They might use a microphone or their own voice to convey their emotions and experiences. During the performance, the audience will watch as they are interviewed about their thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

As a genre, Documentary Theatre has a long and rich history. It has been influenced by many different elements, including governmental reports, advocacy journalism, and social issues. Nevertheless, it is most often associated with socio-political issues, such as class tensions, power structures, and social conflict.

A play that has been known to utilize the technique of Documentary Theatre is Joan Littlewood’s Oh What a Lovely War! Taking a look at the First World War, the play features actual documents, photographs, and WW1 songs.

David Hare is a contemporary artist who uses documentary techniques in his plays. His works include The Power of Yes (2009) and Stuff Happens (2004). Other plays include Nuremberg (1996) and The Permanent Way (2003).

Another modern documentary artist is the Tectonic Theater Project. Using real-life events, the Tectonic Theatre Company directed The Laramie Project, a piece which explored the reaction to the hate-based murder of gay college student Matthew Shephard.

Christine Umpfenbach is another modern artist who is interested in revealing the personal side of political and social issues. Her pieces are mostly based on her extensive research into a particular time period, as well as a variety of real people. These pieces tend to feature socio-political topics, such as the rise of feminism, critical race theory, and queer theory.

Finally, there is the Verbatim Theatre style of Documentary Theatre, which has been an important part of the theatre scene for decades. Featuring actual testimonies and statements of witnesses, this style of documentary theater has been a key component of the West’s twentieth century drama scene. Although a polarizing genre, it has also been very influential, and many of its works have been produced.

Despite its many differences, documentary theatre shares a common thread: it is experimental. It asks the audience to question the meaning of information, and how the information relates to society.

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