The Polish director Jerzy Grotowski defines his theory of "poor theatre": the Theatre that values the body of the actor and its relation with the spectator and does away with costumes, decor and music. The interview is punctuated with extracts from a rehearsal of the show Evangile. Jerzy Grotowski , producer, teacher and the Polish Theatre director. He trained as an actor in Krakow in the early s before studying production. In in Opole, the Theatre of 13 Rows that he had managed with Ludwig Flaszen since became the Laboratory Theatre and moved to Wroclaw in
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The Polish director Jerzy Grotowski defines his theory of "poor theatre": the Theatre that values the body of the actor and its relation with the spectator and does away with costumes, decor and music. The interview is punctuated with extracts from a rehearsal of the show Evangile. Jerzy Grotowski , producer, teacher and the Polish Theatre director. He trained as an actor in Krakow in the early s before studying production.
In in Opole, the Theatre of 13 Rows that he had managed with Ludwig Flaszen since became the Laboratory Theatre and moved to Wroclaw in He developed the concept of "poor theatre", where the play and actor's technique, inherited from Stanislavski, focused on costumes, decors and lighting.
The relationship between player and spectator, which is alternately invited to dine in Doctor Faustus based on Marlowe in , or to bear witness to The Constant Prince 's ordeal based on Caderon in , always holding a central role. The actor's research is based on body work that aims to rid themselves of automatic reactions in order to get to the character's essence within themselves. From , Grotowski abandoned production to concentrate on researching and showing his art throughout the world.
In in Pontedera, Italy, he created a experimental centre which still bears his name to this day. Share Export.
Information Summary :. Media type :. Broadcast date :. Source :. Themes :. Places :. Context Jerzy Grotowski , producer, teacher and the Polish Theatre director.
Transcription Jean-Marie Drot If you'd rather have a general conversation, I'd love to start with exactly what I have seen. Jerzy Grotowski Please. Jean-Marie Drot And to start for example with the little Fame, presented by 2 of your actresses, for this show that you are going to create from the Gospel texts. What strikes you straight away, is the sobriety, by that I mean that you have removed, everything which for us seems to form part of the theatre.
You have removed the scenery, you have removed the make up, you have removed the tape recorder, you have removed Water noises.
Jerzy Grotowski on the notion of poor theatre
Christie was hanged for their murders, and found subsequently to have committed two others, crimes for which another man was hanged. The play then resurrects and interrogates Christie, turning his mind inside out and refusing the spectator any palliative measure or escape. It is a naturalistic portrait in a bleak and surreal frame. The Education of Skinny Spew is a savage play, a brief journey through the life of a boy who gains consciousness in the womb and is immediately disgusted with the world.
Poor Theatre Conventions
Today, Grotowski is recognised as one of the great directors of the modern theatre and a significant innovator of the experimental theatre movement. Typically, the audience was placed on many sides of the action or in and amongst the action, itself. No matter how much theatre expands and exploits its mechanical resources, it will remain technologically inferior to film and television. Jerzy Grotowski, Towards a Poor Theatre, p. Can the theatre exist without costumes and sets? Yes, it can.
In the final part, I will compare the two, to ask whether the two approaches can inform each other. When Grotowski speaks of holiness, he is very clear that he means:. If the actor, by setting himself a challenge publicly challenges others, and through excess, profanation and outrageous sacrilege reveals himself by casting off his everyday mask, he makes it possible for the spectator to undertake a similar process of self-penetration. If he does not exhibit his body, but annihilates it, burns it, frees it from every resistance to any psychic impulse, then he does not sell his body but sacrifices it. He repeats the atonement; he is close to holiness. Theology of the Body draws a connection between the spousal meaning of the body and the divine self-gift which, through the Incarnation of the Word, unites humanity with the communal life of the Trinity. Emphasis added.
Grotowski’s Poor Theatre: A Theatre of the Body
During the s, the company began to tour internationally and his work attracted increasing interest. As his work gained wider acclaim and recognition, Grotowski was invited to work in the United States and he left Poland in Although the company he founded in Poland closed a few years later in , he continued to teach and direct productions in Europe and America. However, Grotowski became increasingly uncomfortable with the adoption and adaptation of his ideas and practices, particularly in the US. So, at what seemed to be the height of his public profile, he left America and moved to Italy where he established the Grotowski Workcenter in in Pontedera , near Pisa. At this centre he continued his theatre experimentation and practice and it was here that he continued to direct training and private theatrical events almost in secret for the last twenty years of his life.