Monday, June 4, 2007

the theater post

for those of you who don't know, there is an unbelievable international theater company based out of britain called cheek by jowl. instead of on artistic director, a director-designer team led by declan donnellan and nick ormerod. i saw an all-male production of "twelfth night" that they did at BAM last year with a cast of polish/russian actors that blew my mind.

anyway, i just read the introduction to donnellan's book on acting and theater called the actor and the target, which is now in it's second edition. here is a part from it that i really liked:

"acting is a mystery, and so is theatre. we assemble in a space and divide into two parts, one of which enacts stories for the remainder. we know of no society where these rituals never happen, and in many cultures these events are at the very center of that society. there is a persistent need to witness acted-out representations, from television soap opera to greek tragedy.

a theatre is not only a literal space, but also a place where we dream together; not merely a building, but a space that is both imaginative and collective. theatre provides a safe frame within which we can explore dangerous extremities in the comfort of fantasy and the reassurance of a group. if every auditorium were razed to the ground, theatre would still survive, because the hunger in each of us to act, and to be acted to, is inbred. we direct, perform and witness performances to communicated with ourselves as we sleep; theatre cannot die before the last dream has been dreamt."

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