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Antonin Artaud

Antonin Artaud (September 4, 1896-March 4, 1948). Playwright, actor, director.

Antonin Artaud, in his book "theater and its double" expresses his admiration for eastern forms of theater, particularly the Balinese Theater. He admires eastern theater because of the codified, highly ritualized physicality of Balinese dance performance., and advocates what he calls a "Theater of Cruelty". By cruelty, he does not mean sadism or causing pain, but rather a violent, physical determination to shatter the false reality which lies like a shroud over or perceptions. He believes that text has been a tyrant over meaning, and advocates, instead, for a theater made up of a unique language halfway-between thought and gesture. Antonin Artaud describes the spiritual in physical terms, and believes that all expression is PHYSICAL EXPRESSION IN SPACE. It is significant to note that Artaud was institutionalized for some time beause he was considered to be insane. thus is the fate of those who would uncover deeper levels of reality.