The West 'The Theatre of the Absurd' is a term coined by the critic Martin Esslin for the work of a number of playwrights, mostly written in the 1950s and 1960s. The Theatre of the Absurd is exploring the human condition in a context where time and space are malleable and the actions do not necessarily follow in the order they would necessarily be perceived in. Absurdism is commonly studied in senior high school and university drama and theatre … Theater of the absurd definition is - theater that seeks to represent the absurdity of human existence in a meaningless universe by bizarre or fantastic means. THE THEATRE OF THE ABSURD. Theater of the Absurd refers to a literary movement in drama popular throughout European countries from the 1940s to approximately 1989. Absurdist plays ignored formal conventions, like unity of time and action, and frequently disregarded complicated characters in favor of archetypal or metaphorical figures. History of Theatre of the Absurd. Introduction. THE WEST AND THE EAST. The Theatre of the Absurd (French: théâtre de l'absurde [teɑtʁ(ə) də lapsyʁd]) is a post–World War II designation for particular plays of absurdist fiction written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1950s, as well as one for the style of theatre which has evolved from their work. Gradually this movement became very popular among the audience of the time. Theater of the Absurd: Definition and Background. The Theatre of the Absurd (in a very brief and generalist overview) covers plays written mostly in the 1950’s and 1960’s with the main theme “life is meaningless.” To that end, traditional theatrical structure is often ignored, dialogue makes no sense, and characters are not grounded in reality. “The ridiculous theatre was much more exciting than rock and roll. The theatre of the absurd will be remembered in history for many things, the most significant of these being Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece Waiting for Godot, one of the great plays of the 20th century. I. The Theater of the Absurd was a mid-20th century theater movement that began as a reaction to the structured formats of realism. Coined and first theorized by BBC Radio drama critic Martin Esslin in a 1960 article and a 1961 book of the same name, the “Theatre of the Absurd” is a literary and theatrical term used to describe a disparate group of avant-garde plays by a number of mostly European or American avant-garde playwrights whose theatrical careers, generally, began in the 1950s and 1960s. The term is derived from an essay by the French philosopher Albert Camus. The Theatre of Absurd was a reaction against the realistic drama of the 19thCentury. “David Johansen borrowed the outrageousness of the ridiculous theatre and put it into rock and roll by starting the New York Dolls,” actress Cyrinda Foxe said in Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain’s 1996 book Please Kill Me: An Uncensored Oral History of Punk. Martin Esslin made the form popular. The following article by Jerome P. Crabb was originally published on this web site on September 3, 2006.