I LIKE BEING A PLAYWRIGHT, which is fortunate, since that’s one of the few things that I can do with any competence.
On two evenings, November 8 and 9 of 1977, Jerzy Grotowski held a conference in Portland, Oregon on the Lewis and Clark campus. During those two evenings, a Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, he answered questions from the audience. The first session began at eight in the evening and ended at two in the morning. The second session began at eight but at midnight Grotowski began individual interviews with people who were interested in going to Poland that year for a longer paratheatrical event there. This record is of the conference prior to the interview
THIS WORK HAS A CREED, AN ARTICLE OF FAITH, IF YOU WILL. I believe that, in the best of hands, acting becomes a creative art, and that true excellence in its practice can only be attained by total mastery of technical craft.
SOMETIMES ALL IT TAKES TO BEGIN a shift from secular to sacred is a change in attitude or perspective. For example, performers who approach acting as a spiritual practice, often view character as an inclusive expansive process of owning, reclaiming and reincorporating all parts of the self without judgment.
Often actors are embarrassed about what makes them unique. Many actors are afraid that they are not enough. They think they are “too nice” or “not nice enough” and try to hide themselves behind a “confident” cover or a “nice” cover or an “attitude” cover of what they think they should show, when in fact what they need to show is their truth.
STARTING A THEATRE-MAKING LAB with the focus on its organic possibilities and creative difficulties was my dream. Pondicherry University and India Foundation for the Arts led me to the fulfillment of that dream.
“WHO CALLS? I AM HERE. WHAT IS YOUR WILL?”
LAST SUMMER I VISITED VIETNAM with my son who is a doctor studying global health. We landed in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly called Saigon..
A True Theatre
WRITING IN 1869, WALT WHITMAN IN HIS DEMOCRATIC VISTAS COMPLAINS, “Of what is called drama, or dramatic presentation in the United States, as now put forth at the theatres, I should say it deserves to be treated with the same gravity, and on a par, with the questions of ornamental confectionary and public dinners, or the arrangements of curtains and hangings in a ballroom-no more, no less.”
FOR CENTURIES, even when theatre performances were appreciated as noble works of art and culture, the actors who created them were considered people who could be denigrated with impunity.
AS A STORYTELLER, TEACHER/PERFORMING ARTIST I’VE BEEN BLESSED TO TRAVEL TO MANY COUNTRIES. I’ve learned it becomes incumbent to develop mastery in order to share my art with others. I’ve also discovered it’s just as important to build a confidence in “not knowing.”
ENCORE: by Laurence Luckinbill
An essay we find so important we have been making it available since we first published it in 2001. A must read.
In 1963 President John F. Kennedy reminded us with these words:
“I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of our artists. If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him…Art is not a form of propaganda, it is a form of truth…Art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstones of our judgment.”