agitprop

Definition

Theater

  • A derogatory term for a type of theater that uses propagandaand tendentious argument to influence its audience's political attitudes.It is often applied to the activities of left-wing touring companies.A prime example was New York's Living Theatre, which touredEurope in the 1960s with a message of anarchy and revolution. In itsown work, Paradise Now (1968), the audience was urged to takethe struggle onto the streets.

    The term derives from the Soviet Union's Department of Agitationand Propaganda, which was set up in 1920 by the Central Committeeof the Communist Party. Travelling agitprop abounded in Russia andspread throughout Europe. In 1950 - 51, and again in the 1960s,the Chinese workers' theaters produced their own version of agitprop.

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