Theatre Radically Reimagined: Exploring Artaud, Grotowski, and Boal

Created by Ruthie Tutterow

In this unit, students will learn about Antonin Artaud and how his ideas influenced avant-garde theatre in the 20th and 21st centuries. They will also learn how Jerzy Grotowski took Artaud’s theories into new directions. This is done through direct instruction. A culminating presentation will ask students to take common stories and reimagine them using some of these ideas. They will present a “pitch” of an avant-garde version of their story. In the second lesson, students learn about some of the ideas of Augusto Boal and try a session of Forum Theatre.

The overview lays out the structure of the unit, includes objectives, time management suggestions, and outline.
1: Artaud and Grotowski
Students will learn about two practitioners of avant-garde theatre. They will then reimagine a common fairy tale in the style of either Artaud or Grotowski, or a combination thereof. In doing so, they will acquaint themselves with non-realistic theatre production techniques.
2: Boal and Forum Theatre
Students will use a few of Boal’s group warm-ups and participate in Forum Theatre to help them work out issues of importance to them. Through this, they can also see new ways of using theatre to address group dynamics and social issues.

Standards Addressed

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