Theatre History Podcast by Susanne Shawyer

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Demonstrators gathering for the 21 October 1967 March on the Pentagon. Some of these activists used Modern theatre theory, such as Antonin Artaud’s notion of Theatre of Cruelty or R. G. Davis’s concept of Guerrilla Theatre, to shape their street demonstrations for television audiences. Photo courtesy of the LBJ Library.

Dr. Susanne Shawyer, coordinator of Elon’s Drama and Theatre Studies program, visits the HowlRound Theatre History podcast to discuss her research on Theatre of Cruelty by anti-war activists at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Her research investigates audience reactions to street theatre at the convention, in particular responses to activists using Antonin Artaud’s theory of Theatre of Cruelty as a way to engage Americans watching the convention on television. You can read more about her research in Performance in a Militarized Culture (Routledge 2017), or listen to the podcast here: http://howlround.com/theatre-history-podcast-9-theatre-of-cruelty-on-michigan-avenue-dr-susanne-shawyer-on-street-theatre