Absurdism in theatre began in the early 1900's, mainly influenced by the playwrights Strindberg and Samuel Beckett.
The theatre of the absurd is said to have began in Paris, France. Many theatre historians and critics label Alfred
Jarry's French play, "Ubu Roi" as the earliest example of theatre of the absurd. Absurdism is an idea commonly associated
with existentilalism. This experimental movement developed from the Dada movement in Surrealism. The playwrights
grouped under the label of the absurd convey rely heavily on poetic metaphor as a means of projecting outward their
innermost states of mind. The images of the theatre of the absurd assume the quality of fantasy, dream, and nightmare;
they do not portray the outward appearance of reality as the playwright's emotional perception of an inner reality.
Writers outside France who show the influence of the theater of the absurd include Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard
in England, Gunter Grass and Peter Weiss in Germany, Edward Albee, Israel Horovitz, and Sam Shepard in the United States,
and the Czech playwright, Vaclav Havel, and Martin Esslin