Theatralization and its Specific Manifestations in Latvian Modern Drama and Theater

Viktorija Zelavska (University of Latvia)

The aim of this research is to show the relationship between the basic tendencies of theatralization and the aesthetic principles of modernism in Latvian and European modern drama and theatre. The chosen research subject is a little studied theme in Latvian literary and theatre theory. Unrealistic representations (which are connected with theatralization) are key features of modern drama that manifest themselves in different ways in each of the modernist movements. The most important features of theatralization that will be discussed are commedia dell’arte, the East theatre technique, the Medieval theatre form – stylization or restoration in modern drama and the principle of theatre in theatre or play in play; balagan, life and art balaganization; circle aesthetics; people ‘dummization’, etc.  Many of the 20th century writers and theatre directors with stylization techniques in their plays and productions began to portray the world as a theatre, which, together with the theatralization processes found not only in theatre but also in life, shows people as marionettes, with naturalness being replaced with the artificial. People are represented as dummies, as constant masks (or types), who do not know psychological trials, feelings of love and obligation, and are not related to any particular religion epitomizing the infernal, metaphysical and mystical. The principle ‘theatre in theatre’ becomes important in drama. Theatrical forms are restored and renewed in theatre, which accentuates non-psychological theatre dominance and its importance in modern art.

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