Futurism

Definition

Theater

  • A 20th-century movement in theater and the other arts thatglorified the dynamism of the machine age. It was launched in 1909in Italy by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876 - 1944), who coinedthe term. The movement, which reached its peak in the 1920s, calledfor the destruction of all libraries and museums and praised war asan example of supreme energy. It finally lost any intellectual respectabilityby endorsing the Fascist and Nazi philosophies of aggression.

    Many of the Futurists' works were produced by Anton GuilioBragaglia (1890 - 1960), who managed Rome's Teatro degli Independentifrom 1922 to 1936. Advocates of Futurism rejected all former stagepractices, denouncing traditional productions as too static and lengthy.Instead they proposed compressing a dramatic situation into a brief'synthetic drama'. They also felt that the theater of the future shouldincorporate the energy of music hall and circus. Enrico Prampolini(1894 - 1960), the main exponent of the genre in the 1920s, aimedto produce semi-religious dramas in which actors would be replacedby luminous forms, and moving 'stage architecture' substituted forpainted scenery. Many of the innovations of the 1960s, such as theintermingling of actors and audience and the use of new technologyto create mixed media performances, had their roots in Futurism.

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