Theatre as a Laboratory for Altering Identity: Cases of Theater of Cruelty and Sobornyi Theatre

    • Cover Photo
    • Presentation speakers
      • Daria Demekhina, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia


    This presentation will focus on the positions of the two thinkers of the first half of the XXth century – Antonin Artaud and Vyacheslav Ivanov – and their understanding of theater that goes beyond its limits and becomes a part of public life. We will follow the position of Helmar Schramm [1] who views theater as one of the main models of thinking about culture. It seems possible and interesting to us to conduct such a study for a number of reasons. Both authors proposed not only a new type of theater, but they built a new picture of the world on a philosophical basis and could be seen as the precursors of the performative turn in the humanities. What unites these thinkers is an effort to create an anthropological project of the transformation of the humankind that being the key word influenced the theatre and performance paradigm in the XX-XXI centuries. The object of this research is theater as an inframedium between life and art within the context of Artaud’s and Ivanov’s lifeworks, and how theatre can function as a laboratory for alteration of everyday life. If the authors’ idea lies within helping a person to reach her/his genuine source of self, it is crucial to understand the way «theatre of the future» can alter personal identity. Using hermeneutical and comparative analyzes merged with the conceptual apparatus of performance studies I will try to explain in this research how theatrical experience impels a person to change metaphysically.
    Note: [1]Schramm H. Karneval des Denkens. Theatralität im Spiegel philosophischer Texte des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1996