Author(s): Antonin Artaud
First published in 1938, "The Theatre and Its Double" is a collection of essays detailing Antonin Artaud's radical theories on drama, which he saw as being stifled by conservatism and lack of experimentation. It contains the famous manifestos of the 'Theatre of Cruelty', analyses the underlying impulses of performance, provides some suggestions on a physical training method for actors and actresses, and features a long appreciation of the expressive values of Eastern dance drama. Also included is 'Seraphim's Theatre', in which Artaud attempts an actor's application of the Taoist principles of fullness and emptiness. This groundbreaking text is widely read throughout the world for the beauty of its style and as a source of inspiration for new drama, and will appeal to those in search of the essence of theatre.
Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) was a remarkable French playwright and poet. He was a leading figure in the surrealist movement and, despite a divergence of ideas, remained a dedicated surrealist all his life - devoting his time to the study of the problem of the conflict between man's physical and intellectual natures.