Expressionism and Modern Day Antiestablishment
In an effort to stay true to myself, I would write a play set in the current time period but keeping true to the characteristics of early 1900 German expressionist plays. Expressionism was to be a deliberate departure from realism and naturalism, it was complex and short lived. It was a way that a playwright could protest social and political issues like war, industrialization, and government without feeling like they were being superficial.
The set would be almost bare except for abstract shapes and colors, like a dream, it wouldn’t make sense. I would give the audience the feeling of being on the inside looking out through the eyes of someone that sees things very differently from other people and the story is told through his viewpoint. The set would be cold and impersonal.
Costumes would follow suit. They would be impersonal and stereotypical of the general American public. The Lighting would make things distorted, it would throw eerie shadows that made the audience feel uneasy. Like they were a part of a bad dream. There would be loud, shrieking, almost offensive sounds that would be symbolic of the lies that the American government is feeding its citizens. It would be very much along the lines of George Orwell’s “1984” but it would focus on how the government has systematically been spoon feeding the American public lies in order to instill fear in them lest they up rise and fight back. My main character is an anxiety ridden millennial who feels that he is the only person that can see that 9/11 was an inside job and that Isis was made up to instill fear. This causes him to become increasingly paranoid and violent.
When German Expressionism became popular around 1912 some of these very similar situations were happening in Germany with the onset of WWI looming. So people like Oskar Kokoscha. Reinhard Sorge, and American Playright Eugene O’Neill used this style as a way to express their fears about the...