Monday, April 18, 2005

Getting it right every time

I was talking to a writer a while ago, who's a little older than me. He was saying how, you know, he now had become technically better. He could write more quickly. He knew when things weren't working. He'd acquired technique. And I had to realise when I was talking to him that I still don't know how to get that presence on stage, that every time I go down for a new piece it's the same battle as it was for [my first show] Sakonnet Point in1975. That I had not gotten any clearer about how to get that presence, how to keep it, how to make the form balance with the -
- Elizabeth LeCompte (1944-)
"Founder and director of the Wooster Group (1976-), the New York based performance company, which broke away from Richard Schechner's Performance Group (1967-80). It grew out of a long tradition of rejection of American commercial theater, redefining the position of the 'performer' and 'role', and the function of previously written playscripts, in particular plays by the established American and European writers, whose work often constitutes a base for the group's performance explorations. " (from The Twentieth-Century Performance Reader)

A few months ago the Wooster Group created Poor Theater, a show where the performers reproduced (among other things) Apocalipsis Cum Figuris, Jerzy Grotowski's most famous work, from a film recording projected on large screens. Apparently (from what friends told me) the show was welcomed as a scandal in Poland, where Grotowski's original performance had taken place. It's good to know quality scandals still happen somewhere.

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