Postmodernism and Beyond!
Postmodern theatre tends to recycle and "quote" from cultural forms and intellectual movements from the past. It is self-referential and contains its own critique, parody, or deconstruction. Although it stems from antirealist movements, it lacks their aesthetic or social optimism that a higher order of reality or society can be revealed or effected. It abjures symbols as well as the idea of progress. Works of postmodern theatre, therefore, often explore discontinuities, fragments, apparent randomness, and surprises. Its pessimism, fragmentations, and rejection of the possibility of meaning appear in the arts phenomenon known as Dada, Samuel Beckett's late plays, and the cross-gender casting, revealed mechanics of theatrical presentation, and adoption of the theatre as setting in many recent plays. Such works also often reject chronological linearity, so that flashbacks, scenes in reverse chronological order, and quick shuttling between times are common. Lastly, postmodern experiments have emphasized the senses through the reality of nudity in tension with the dramatic fiction, or scene, lighting, and sound designs that may be spectacular, semi-autonomous from the play's action, blatantly technologically enhanced.
Surreal - Marcus A. Jansen