The only form of theatre known before realism was romanticism so the world was very scared to accept the new, scary kind of plays. Especially considering that the new style was not always perfect and nice, but sometimes sad and disappointing.
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Study of Theatre’s -isms
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They used many medieval symbols and religious paintings in their plays as well as allegorical signs. Around the same time period is when impressionism made it's short appearance. This movement was primarily seen in the set designs because it was believed that "artist is affected internally through external reality". Oftentimes in plays today, you will notice a certain painting or color in the background of the set that looks random but always has a deeper, much more interesting reasoning. This all started in the asses with symbolisms and impressionism!
In the years 1916-1924 is when theatre started to become more... Artsy. This is when dada and surrealism became genres. Both of these focused on what was unusual and different to the audience. Dada started as a reaction to the First World War. The word "dada" itself is a made up word that means nothing. It was sought to outrage the audience into action. Sets and costumes often looked blurred together like a big mess - or they were just completely outrageous. Similarly, surrealism said that art must transcend reality by ding all arts into one single vision that suggests a harmony.
Many times, there would be what seems like way too much on stage or on a costume but in surrealism, somehow it always blends together peacefully. Surrealism seems to be, in many ways, the most preceding of the -isms because of how prominent it still is in theatre and film. Through all of my research, have learned that theatre today is nowhere close to what is was when first created
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