LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #58 – Estrangement Effect

This term (Verfremdungseffekt) was introduced by Bertolt Brecht to refer to the aim of preventing the audience from reacting to the characters in a play without being aware of it. The fictional nature of stage action is highlighted and the audience is invited to question their emotional reaction to it. In this way the audience becomes witness not only to what is happening in the play, but also to themselves. We can become very involved in our stories, to the point that we are driven by the role we play in them and lose the bigger picture. Can we look at them as an outside witness to gain greater awareness and freedom?

 

 

María Ferrara

 

Advertisement

LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #22 – Suspension of Disbelief

This term is used to refer to the audience putting aside logic in order to engage with the fiction being presented on stage. An example of this is accepting the way in which time goes by or the fact that the action is seen through the opening left by a supposedly removed fourth wall from a room. Actors and actresses do something similar when they use their imagination to create circumstances different to the ones they are really in. In life this capacity can be useful or dangerous. Putting aside the doubt that something can happen may help us make it real. However, ignoring what we know and retreating into a fantasy of how we would like things to be only delays the confrontation. Reality always wins!

 


María Ferrara