Definition of Theater of the Absurd in US English:

Theater of the Absurd


the Theater of the Absurd
  • Drama using the abandonment of conventional dramatic form to portray the futility of human struggle in a senseless world. Major exponents include Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, and Harold Pinter.

    • ‘In addition, the unusual presentation style, patterned in part after the Theater of the Absurd, facilitated the skillful use of humor, for which he was well known.’
    • ‘In a similar vein, he argues that the Theatre of the Absurd is no more than a mode of representation among others, and does not convey any ideology.’
    • ‘Reflecting aspects of the Theatre of the Absurd that was then in vogue, Waldman's work depicted a dysfunctional typical American urban family harassed by a group of surly teenaged delinquents.’
    • ‘Just as there was a European Theatre of the Absurd, so there is the (slightly cheerier) British radio equivalent.’
    • ‘One of Ireland's four Nobel laureates for literature, Samuel Beckett was one of the literary titans of the 20th century, a pioneer of the Theatre of the Absurd.’
    • ‘Eugene Ionesco's plays, with his distinctive, absurd, and comic perspective on the strangeness of life, became a cornerstone for the 1950's theatre movement known as the Theatre of the Absurd.’
    • ‘Specifically, his plays belong to the Theatre of the Absurd, a type of theatre in which the universe and human existence are depicted as without purpose, meaningless and irrational.’
    • ‘Their verbal and physical comedy, in which order so easily turns into chaos and sense slides into nonsense, makes them forerunners of the Theatre of the Absurd and Monty Python.’
    • ‘The kinds of literary work that have been described as postmodernist include the Theatre of the Absurd and some experimental poetry.’
    • ‘There are moments when the dialogue has the delightful inconsequentiality of the Theatre of the Absurd.’
    • ‘Rhino Productions has given Harold Pinter's ‘The Birthday Party’, a classic of the Theatre of the Absurd, a low-budget, well-acted production that shows the play is as intriguing now as it was when first produced in 1958.’
    • ‘Jarry also pioneered various techniques of audience defamiliarisation in his approach to the staging of the work, anticipating the Surrealists and the Theatre of the Absurd.’
    • ‘His fiction borrows much of its influence from twentieth century movements such as Expressionism and the Theater of the Absurd.’
    • ‘I doubt my mother will ever see herself as a player on the stage of the Theatre of the Absurd but her talents in this area are at times unrivaled.’