Of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: Theatricalism and other Isms in Theatre Arnold defines the concept of theatricalism as a “nonrealistic [playwriting] and employs vivid imagery and heightened language” (G-5). In here, there are three major elements characterized in theatricalism…
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In theatricalism, though, images are more vivid; in terms of visual component, for instance, they are more colorful. Second, theatricalism is a style of playwriting in which the literary work consists of an intense language. That is to say, the language used in the plays that are produced in theatricalism is dramatically pompous. In Kushner’s Angels in America -- this play is an example of theatricalism -- its lines are utterly grandiose, if not bombastic. The main protagonist named Prior, in fact, speaks a heightened language: “Each angel is an infinite aggregate myriad entity, they’re basically incredibly powerful bureaucrats ...” (26). Obviously, the adjectives here are utterly too much. Finally, Arnold categorizes the notion of theatricalism as different from the praxis of realism. Perhaps the vivid imagery and heightened language prominent in theatricalism make such style of playwriting as unreal. Realism, in the general sense, is a style of writing in which it attempts to create or probably recreate the appearance of life as it is experienced by man. Further, realism tackles the kind of life that is common in the day-to-day basis. Kushner’s play seems to be an attempt to recreate the gay life as actually experienced by gays prominent in the late-20th-century America.
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