Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Poor theatre

Interesting article by Will Hodgkinson in the Telegraph (free registration required) about the foundation of 'poor theatre'.

It started, apparently, with "the American première of The Constant Prince, Jerzy Grotowski's production of an obscure 17th-century play, which was performed in an old church in New York's East Village on a prop-free stage in front of about 100 people. In Polish."

This was one of the first productions to follow the guidelines laid down in Towards a Poor Theatre, Grotowski's manifesto for a metaphysical approach to acting.
He advocated a theatre in which non-essentials – props, sets, costumes, even the script – were irrelevant, because all that mattered was the process of acting.
Grotowski's ideas had a strong influence on Peter Brook, Lee Strasberg, Théâtre de Complicité and many others.

Presumably he has not been so popular with writers, however.

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