Brecht’s idea of distancing effects has garnered academic interest from a number of researchers in a variety of non-Brechtian achievements. Although the term distance effect was coined for the first time by Brecht, the concept appeared in a variety of performances, even before Brecht’s use.

Some notable studies on distancing effects in non-Brechtian performances include: Ta’ziyeh (Iranian ritualistic passion play) (Mohd Nasir et al., 2020), Marathi Theatre (Mujumdar, 2013), Swang Theatre (Ancient Indian Folk Theatre) (Sharma & Kashyap, 2018), Beat Poetry (Rissover, 2009), Likay (Thai Folk Theatre) (Tungtang, 2015) and Quranic Narratives (Tungtang, 2015). (Dina, 2014).

Rissover’s Paper

Rissover’s paper discusses the integration of twenty poems (either excerpted or taken as a whole) by nine Beat poets into the performance of Edward Albee’s The American Dream. While Rissover does not consider Beat Poetry’s distancing effects solely as a poetry performance, the paper still shows how beat poems are able to project distancing effects on the audience.

Mujumdar’s Paper

In addition, Mujumdar’s (2013) paper looked at the elements of epic drama (including distancing effects) in Tamasha, the traditional form of the Marathi theater. Mujumdar argues that distance effects have already been present in Tamasha, although the concept itself has been conceptualized or coined in the 18th century (i.e. the time whereby Tamasha was considered as the popular folk arts). Through songs, narratives, dances, music, and comments that are embedded within Tamasha, the audience is said to be unconsciously performing the social role and achieving the distancing effects expected by Brecht (Mujumdar, 2013).

Paradee’s Paper

Furthemore, Paradee’s (2015) article pointed out that the extensive use of a dramatic technique called Verfremdungseffekt (V-effect) or ‘alienation effect’ can be found commonly and conventionally adopted in the Thai Likay Theater. Even though Thai is performed in a manner that could be perceived as fully adopted by Brecht’s alienation effect, the main difference may lie in the fact that the ultimate goal to be achieved by pro-Brechtian acting troops and Thai Likay troops is distinctly different.

While the aim of using Brecht’s alienation effect in the western theater is to make the audience always aware that they are watching a play, not being “taken out of themselves” and thus not being distracted from the main content of the story, Thai Likay aims to do otherwise.

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