The Synthetic Bard: Dramatic Condensation from the Futurists to the Reduced Shakespeare Company

Stefano Boselli

Abstract


The Futurists criticized Shakespeare as the epitome of passéist drama in several of their manifestos, and, at times, followed up on their own proposal to reshape his dramaturgy through their synthetic techniques. The Reduced Shakespeare Company abridged the entire Bard’s oeuvre to a single evening, but without reference to the Futurists. This article, going beyond the usual placement of the American troupe within the framework of popular Shakespeare, views their work as a contemporary embodiment of the Futurist Synthetic Theatre.


Keywords


Futurism; Brevity; Dramatic Synthesis; Avant-Garde Theatre; Reduced Shakespeare Company; Tom Stoppard; Comparative Drama; Popular Culture

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