What are the important elements of 20th century drama?

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Twentieth century drama is comprised of many different literary movements. At the turn of the century, Expressionism and Symbolism were important, especially in Northern Europe. Both involved non-realistic styles of acting, staging, and language, with expressionism concentrating on using unusual technical devices to project the interior states of characters. SUrrealist drama, including the work of Eugene Ionesco, is an outgrowth of Expressionism, but no longer presumes internal coherence and follows the illogic of dream states or random occurrences. Another group of plays focused on social and political critique, in the case of Berthold Brecht combined with techniques of alienation (which emphasize the unreal nature of the play) to force the audience to think critically rather than empathetically. The Angry Young Men of England also engage in socially aware portraits of the working class but in a more aesthetically conservative style. Other important movements included comedies of manner (Coward, Pinero), musical drama, absurdist drama, and many varieties of late 20th century experimental drama.

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