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One development in dramatic writing common to these authors is the opening up of the play structure. These playwrights utilized a number of conceits that had not been seen previously: such as directly addressing the audience (as in Thornton Wilder's Our Town), or including characters from history who have lived during different eras (as Stoppard has done with a number of plays), or creating dialogue that is very spare and minimal and that does not at first impression seem to be telling a conventional story (as with Beckett's plays). These techniques allow for a view and experience of theatre that goes beyond realism or even conventional narrative, and allows theatre to become more conceptual, even philosophical in nature. The spectacle of theatre can then extend beyond its classical boundaries and create new performance experiences.
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