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Jerzy Grotowski. L’eredità vivente

The poetics of the encounter: Grotowski’s living legacy

Kris Salata

Note de l’auteur

This text has been prapared for the Academic Seminar, “Jerzy Grotowski: Living Legacy”, at the Shanghai Theatre Academy, held on October 27-18, 2012.

Texte intégral

  • 1 R. Schechner, Exoduction: Shape-Shifter, Shaman, Trickster, Artist, Adept, Director, Leader, Grotow (...)

1Jerzy Grotowski’s legacy has been unmistakably placed among the most important, formative, legacies in modern theatre, mentioned in one breath with that of Stanislavski, Meyerhold, Brecht, and Artaud. Yet, for such a commonly acknowledged influence, Grotowski remains to many a puzzling figure, a case full of controversies, mysteries, and misunderstandings. «Shape-shifter, shaman, trickster, artist, adept, director, leader», as he is notoriously called by Richard Schechner in a hard-to-top article title, the Polish-born director has been «hard to pin down1» throughout his life-time, and remains so today. Over a decade after his death, and after volumes of scholarship devoted to him, his “case” is still wide open. It is because of this difficulty in digesting Grotowski’s lifework, I will suggest that his legacy should be treated as a case of exemption – a case that stands on its own and defines itself, while disputing the very phenomenon of a theatrical legacy. My first claim is that Grotowski’s legacy is a practical treatise on the very nature of legacies in performing arts. Only after we accept that, can we talk about his legacy in terms of his accomplishments, among which I put forward extensive research into the poetics of the encounter – my second claim. These two claims stand in an intimately close relation, which will be my third and final point here.

Theatrical Legacies

2Today’s theatre historians favor historiography in their approach to theatre history, ultimately writing multiple histories rather than a single one. Indeed, there are many stories to tell, depending who is the storyteller, and who is the listener. Nevertheless, and despite this openness to plurality, in a Western university lecture hall, histories are told as texts pointing to vital manifestos and claimed lineages. It is fairly easy to point to epic theatre as Brecht’s “invention”, to the evolution of the System of actor training as Stanislavski’s project, to biomechanics and theatricality as Meyerhold’s contribution, or to theatre of cruelty as a creation of Artaud’s madness. In each claim something of key importance is communicated about the artist’s lifework. However, if Grotowski remains associated with Poor Theatre, as he still is in most history textbooks, something of key importance becomes missing about this particular foundational legacy. The first and most obvious missing component is the full account of decades of his later work, i.e., Paratheatre, Theatre of Sources, Objective Drama, and Art as vehicle – the work not fully incorporated into a comprehensive understanding of Grotowski’s legacy. And regardless of how many histories one might write on Grotowski, his post-production period (ca. 1969-1999) will remain “incomplete”, as his case persists to remain one of a particular exception: it is written into people and their practice rather than into chapters of history books. I term it “exception” simply because of the globalizing force of the technologies of reproduction and distribution of knowledge that espouse text and recording (media) over the traditional direct human-to-human passage of knowledge.

  • 2 A. Malaev-Babel (ed.), The Vakhtangov Sourcebook, Routledge, London 2011, pp. 6-7.

3Of course, there exists a teacher-to-student passing of the knowledge of the craft in the Western tradition, and notable artists generate their disciples to continue a particular lineage of work. Stanislavski, in his mature years, depended on his close friend and associate, Leopold Sulerzhitsky (1872-1916) to teach the System to the Moscow Art Theatre students. After Sulerzhitsky’s death, Stanislavski put all his hopes in Yevgeny Vakhtangov (1883-1922), whom he called “the chosen one”, marking the young Vakhtangov his main disciple. When Vakhtangov died of cancer six years later, Stanislavski left all the teaching to his third choice of a successor, Nikolai Demidov (1884-1953). Theatre histories are yet to acknowledge Demidov as Stanislavski’s continuator and the author of four volumes dedicated to the implementation and further verification of the System. Due to the political circumstances as well as personal quarrels, Demidov’s work remained marginalized in the Soviet Union, and only in the last few years had his books finally become published2. Demidov remains virtually unknown in the West, where Stanislavski’s legacy relies heavily on the interpretation of Stanislavski’s books, which document earlier stages of his search for the System, supplemented by the teaching and the writing of those who had gained partial knowledge 155 of the evolving practice at MAT. Despite Stanislavski’s effort to grant continuity of his work to his chosen disciple, theatre world has decided on its own to give Stanislavski’s legacy a caesura at his death, and perhaps several other ceasuras at his subsequent stages of research. One thing is certain: with the loss of access to Demidov’s work, we have lost the most direct line of continuity of Stanislavski’s project.

  • 3 J. Grotowski, Reply to Stanislavsky, transl. by K. Salata, «TDR: The Drama Review», 52:2 (2008), p. (...)

4Grotowski, who considered himself Stanislavski’s student and continuator of his research, did not know of Demidov. He closely studied the available written record, both in Russian and Polish, as well as interrogated what was presented to him as Stanislavski-based practice. During his studies in Moscow, Grotowski was able to get insights from his teacher, Yuri Zavadsky, who had been Vachtangov’s student. From all his deeply invested studies, which he then applied to his own work, Grotowski found most important in Stanislavski the never-stopping questioning, and never-resting practical research. To put it bluntly, there was no ideal system ever to be found, and the only method seemed to lie in constant reformation: «the method in terms of a system doesn’t exist. It cannot exist in any way but as a challenge or a call3». Another important point that Grotowski often mentioned in connection with Stanislavski was the problem of the self-proclaimed “disciples”, very faithful but rather poor students of their teacher, who spread ill-interpreted or plainly wrong message about the work. These two points had to play an important role in Grotowski’s decision about the course of his own legacy, when he sought his final disciple and continuator of his lifework. Instead on depending on books and recordings, he sought a living practice that could continue to evolve after his passing. Thus he sought a pupil who could become a master under his eye.

5Certainly these practical concerns about the transmission of the embodied knowledge must be taken along with a larger issue of the nature of theatrical legacies in the world that globalizes knowledge by the means of prescriptive and descriptive writing and concepts coined into discernable phrases, such as the “system”, “epic theatre”, “biomechanics”, or “theatre of cruelty”. More ambiguous phrases that refer to complex phenomena of praxis, such as “verticality”, “inner action”, “art as vehicle”, never successfully stand on their own as a heading of a paragraph and instead depend on practical work that must be experienced in order to communicate their meaning. Globalized exchange of visual material does not solve this problem, because the experiences that take place during the actual encounter are often too subtle to register via a medium. What takes place during the human encounter to a certain degree remains exclusively there. I will return to these thoughts at the end, when the notion of the encounter becomes part of this analysis.

6It becomes apparent that Grotowski’s insistence on a very traditional mode of succession in his domain of performance research aims at questioning the phenomenon of theatrical legacy, even if not every legacy involves the kind of focus that qualifies work as research. To give this thought some perspective, only a thread of Stanislavski’s and Meyerhold’s work constitutes research, as they inquire into specific issues of the actor’s craft and into the correspondent pedagogical approaches. On the other hand, I don’t consider Brecht’s work as research, even though it always contained artistic search and discursive formulations. I also don’t consider Artaud’s work as research, but rather an articulation of a dream about theatre, a strong and vital dream, but a dream nevertheless.

7A legacy can be seen as a reverberation and a response to a style, an approach, a manifesto, a discovery, or a consistent search that becomes a focused research. In that way, somebody can feel that he or she is a part of Grotowski’s legacy by responding to Poor Theatre, which he or she can read about in Grotowski’s book and see on video, e.g., The Laboratory Theatre’s Akropolis. Once the work and the word go out to the world, there will be followers who will attempt to create work in connection to what inspired them. The often-resultant mimetic reproduction too, to some degree, may be seen as Grotowski’s legacy, although he explicitly considered these efforts as mistaken, false, pretentious, and questionable, at least until they became a true human or artistic response rather than mimicry. However, in order to generate a true response, one has to intimately know the source of the inspiration, which means that one has to study the matter to its core, i.e., one must commit to doing research. It becomes apparent that true legacies have a lot to do with artistic research.

8The distinction between artistic search and research needs further explication. While every work of art involves artistic search, and to some degree results from artistic re­search that had built the artist’s craft, not every work of art constitutes research. In fact, very few do. In order for a work of art to advance research, it must contain discoveries in terms of craft, i.e., elements that push craft to the next level.

9Ingemar Lindh (1945-1997), a former assistant of the French mime, Étienne Decroux, distinguishes between artistic search and research vis-a-vis the notion of pedagogy:

  • 4 I. Lindh, Gathering around the word theatre…, in P. Paavolainen - A. Ala-Korpela (eds.), Knowledge (...)

Because when you transmit something to somebody else […] you try to form, to inform, put in form, what your intuitions and inspirations were. And then it becomes a pedagogical process, and from there you can approach something which is research4.

10British Scholar, Frank Camilleri, adds:

  • 5 F. Camilleri, Between Laboratory and Institution: Practice as Research in No Man’s Land, conference (...)

In Lindh’s context, which is characteristic of other laboratories in the twentieth century, pedagogy and research are linked in the empirical endeavor to revisit artistic exploration and extract general principles of technique and composition. These principles lend themselves to transmission outside their original context of generation, to others who did not partake of the process5.

11If we then think of theatrical legacies as legacies of transmission of practical research, then Grotowski’s legacy would naturally have to fall into the hands of a chosen disciple rather than a book that prescribes and describes the Grotowski method that doesn’t exist. The question arises: What is Grotowski’s research? What is Grotowski’s pedagogy? The answer to these questions that I am prepared to give is: the poetics of the encounter.

The Poetics of the Encounter

12In my book, The Unwritten Grotowski: Theory and Practice of the Encounter, I put a center focus on a single quotation from Grotowski as his key practical research question, and the key to his legacy in a deep sense:

What does it mean, not to hide from another person? Not to veil or mask yourself from another person? Not to play a different person? To reveal yourself? To reveal yourself… To disarm yourself before another person and to come forth like that?

13Grotowski said these words during a TV interview in 1972, when he had reached the peak of his fame as the world’s most important theatre director of his times, and when he had already resigned from making productions and switched to the new endeavors of paratheatrical encounters. But what he said, applies with an equal force to his Laboratory

14Theatre’s as well as to the Workcenter’s work. I call it, “The Grotowski Question”.

15A quick reading of this question – and the type of reading that accompanies Grotowski in the West – focuses on the self-revelation of the actor and typically points to the iconic role of The Constant Prince by Ryszard Cieślak. Certainly of key importance, the actor’s self-revelation as a person is only the first part of The Question, and stopping there would be a very costly misreading of Grotowski’s legacy.

  • 6 S. Houlgate (ed.), The Hegel Reader, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford 1998, p. 92.
  • 7 E. Levinas, Martin Buber and the theory of knowledge, in S. Hand (ed.), The Levinas Reader, Blackwe (...)

16For not only does Grotowski dare one to drop the mask and asks about the consequences of such a deed on behalf of the actor, but rather he asks more generally about the consequences within the event of the encounter with another, «before another person». «What does it mean to come forth like that?». The self that becomes revealed can only be revealed in relation with another – it comes to being only as relation. To borrow legitimacy from philosophy here, I will point that his formulation of the self as solely acknowledged by another echoes Hegel’s in his Phenomenology of Spirit6. Or, to quote from a modern philosopher, Emanuel Levinas, «Man does not meet, he is the meeting7». So then when Grotowski states in Towards a Poor Theatre that theatre is what happens between the actor and the spectator, he makes that encounter the site and the essence of theatre, which for him would mean the site and the deed of human unveiling towards another.

17The history of Grotowski’s work proves this emphasis on the encounter true. The entire period of the Laboratory Theatre was a progressive experimentation with the relationship with the spectators and involved the shifts in the configuration of the performing and viewing space – something that Grotowski is well recognized for as a creator of alternatives to the traditional stage, but not necessarily in a direct connection with the search for a deep encounter. Grotowski’s interest in the architecture of the theatrical space was in fact dictated by his desire to find a secular, efficacious ritual for a fragmented modern man. The result of this extensive and complex search, which went on from performance to performance, was a situation of the most basic confrontation of the spectator-witness with the actor who undergoes a process of intimate carnal confession. The deed of confession is also a deed of relation – it does not exist without the witness. Further experimentations, such as Paratheatre, Theatre of Sources, removed the burden of theatrical spectatorship from those involved in the events. When finally Grotowski established his Workcenter, he continued focused research limited to the group of performers, but it would be wrong to assume that the idea of the encounter was abandoned in the process. In fact, quite contrary, the quality of the encounter available to the performers in the new line of research based on vibratory songs remained at the center of Grotowski’s attention.

18The work at the Workcenter evolves around developing highly precise performance structures, referred to as «opuses», which consist of songs and actions, and which serve as the means for practical investigation of the performers. During the formative years, the opuses were not shown to anyone, but in the late 1980s, Downstairs Action was shared with some invited guests (and also filmed by Mercedes Gregory in 1989). Since the purpose of the piece was to serve the performers in their “work on themselves”, Richards directed it without any consideration for a particular place from which it could be viewed. In the next opus created in 1994, called Action, Richards designated one side from which a few invit­ed guests could see the performance. Yet, the main purpose of the opus remained unchanged, and Action was often done without anybody watching. The new question involving the role of the witness that emerged during this time was the way of reception of the material that evolved with no attempt to communicate it outside the circle of the performers, and the performances thus gave very little access to those invited to view it. Grotowski suggests that reception is possible via sympathetic resonance with the processes of the performers. He calls this kind of reception “induction”, borrowing the term from physics, and referring to the phenomenon of the electromagnetic induction of electrical current in an isolated parallel circuit. By relying on a scientific term rather that the vocabulary of esoteric practices, Grotowski tries to objectify the vivid spontaneous organic response to the work that offers neither a plot, nor narrative, nor clear meaning.

  • 8 The project was organized and co-ideated by Theater des Auenblicks in Vienna, Austria, headed by Gü (...)

19Since Grotowski’s death in 1999, the Workcenter has continued its research on the encounter, taking it to new places. In the years 2003-2006, Richards and his team undertook an ambitious project that involved international residencies of varied nature and duration, with unique ways of meeting people through the performance work. Sponsored by the “Culture 2000” Programme of the European Union, and adequately called Tracing Roads Across, this complex enterprise was a «three-year traveling cultural dialogue […] between [the Workcenter and] chosen theatre groups, organizations and cultural operators from eleven nations8». Describing the project in a multi-lingual program brochure, Richards states:

  • 9 Tracing Roads Across. Program brochure.

In “Tracing Roads Across” we have articulated all elements of our present research, from practical to theoretical. Herein we will trace links with those outside the work through open events, exchanges of work, meetings, etc., and also trace links inside the team – there where the content of the work goes towards what is more essential in us and between us9.

20The spirit of the encounter lies at the foundation of this artistic initiative. After thirteen years of working in partial seclusion (complete at first, and then interrupted only by closed sessions with invited theatre groups and occasional events for special guests), and the four years following Grotowski’s death, Richards and his team were ready to meet openly not merely with the European performing arts community, but in a larger context of the conversation about art and life in and outside academia.

21In line with this idea, the Workcenter showed Action in a format that included a short meeting before the performance, during which Mario Biagini introduced the piece as work that is not improvised but highly structured, poetic rather than dramatic, and that, unlike theatre, could fulfill its purpose without being watched by an audience. Those who came to see Action were invited to a meeting that followed the series of performances to talk about their experience of the work. Having attended multiple gatherings of this kind, I think that, similarly to the way Apocalypsis functioned during the post-production phase of the Laboratory Theatre, Action worked as an invitation to a much broader (even if unspecified) form of involvement, participation, and exchange, which began to articulate itself during the conversation. Often, people would wonder if what they saw was still theatre, or if the performers were “in trance”. Simultaneously translating each other from English to French or Italian (depending on the country in which they were performing and the language in which the questions was asked), Richards and Biagini would carefully unpack the statements and questions posed during the conversation, giving in to a thorough ontological analysis and as a result establishing a more fundamental level upon which those present could begin to find the grounds of understanding not dependent on generalized assumptions, «lazy, automatic thinking», as Biagini would phrase it. Understandably, the greatest accomplishment of those meetings was not merely the content of the exchange, but its rare quality as an event.

  • 10 Thomas Richards, conversation with the author, Vienna, November 2005.

22During Tracing Roads Across, Richards, in an unprecedented way, began to invite the outsiders to witness the creative process of a newly formed opus, The Twin: Action in Crea­tion. As he explained, as they have become well established in their practice, their creative work was no longer fragile and did not require seclusion. In fact, a rough exposure of the most vulnerable part of the performers’ process could serve well as a vehicle for a meeting through work10. In parallel with the opuses and as an entirely new development during this period, Richards and Biagini with the Workcenter team devised a performance piece, Dies Irae: The Preposterous Theatrum Interioris Show, with a clear destination for the reception by the spectators.

23In all these activities one key aspect becomes evident: practical work always came accompanied by discourse that aimed at preparing the spectators to receive it away from the economies of the culture industry, and proposing it on its own terms as a new (but not necessarily to-be-defined) form of performing art. Usually, long conversations and discussion sessions (lasting as long as needed) that followed the performances first focused on reconfiguring the thinking about the experience by taking it away from the frame of old, not reexamined, concepts and then moved to other territories, which varied depending on the spectators’ questions. Yet I often felt that the performance as well as the pre- and post-performance talks were only the first act of some larger play, some other possibility, whose shape or form could not be clearly seen, but for which the space was already made, even if only by the sensation at the end of the evening that the event did not end. If I had those experiences after a remarkable music or dance concert, or after a stimulating lecture, I hardly ever had it as the combined result of performance and discourse working in tandem towards something third. In comparison, the talkback sessions with the director and the cast that I see regularly arranged at many theatres seem to aim at completing the event of the evening rather than opening a new process.

  • 11 In 2010 the Open Program involved ten artists from seven countries: Itahisa Borges Mendéz (Spain), (...)
  • 12 Website description at Accessed on January 20, 2011.
  • 13 The Focused Research team members in 2010 included: Benoit Chevelle (France), Jessica Losilla Hébra (...)

24In the years that followed Tracing Roads Across, another project, Horizons (2007-09), sponsored by the City of Wrocław in connection with the Grotowski Institute, gave the Workcenter an opportunity to conduct research and meetings with individuals and groups from various countries during the annual month-long residencies in Poland. A new de­velopment in 2007 was the formation of the Open Program11, a second team at the Workcenter, directed by Mario Biagini, which at one point took on Allen Ginsberg’s poetry and, based on it, developed several performance forms, each distinctly different in the way it engages the spectator: «currently, the team’s work aims to rediscover the living aspect of the poetic word as a tool for contact and action […] the very nucleus of theatre, the moment of true contact between human beings12». In 2008, Thomas Richards also began working with a new, smaller team of performers13, continuing his focused research in Art as vehicle and creating a new opus. In some way, both teams toil with a new interest in meeting people through performance at the most ordinary and least expected venues, from domestic to public. The virtuosity with which these events pronounce a different meaning of the encounter has incubated from what Grotowski brought to the Workcenter from his life-long research, and what emerged through consistent work that Richards and Biagini (with a few generations of apprentices) have done over the decades of focused practice.

Poetic Theatre

  • 14 The table combines two Brecht’s tables from: J. Willett (ed.), Brecht on Theatre: The Development o (...)
  • 15 All italicized entries are mine.

25I have been using the term, «the poetics of the encounter», not only to emphasize the complex analytical and artistic effort involved in the research into the phenomenon of the encounter, but also to point to yet another aspect of Grotowski’s legacy, or rather, the Workcenter’s legacy, which is the poetic substance of their performance. To make it explicit, I will call it Poetic Theatre, as opposed to dramatic theatre inherited from ancient Greeks and theorized by Aristotle, as well as to Brecht’s Epic Theatre, which also grew out of an opposition to Aristotle14. In order to define the poetic form, I will rely on Brecht’s manifesto-like articulation of the epic versus dramatic form. However, I would like to make it clear that Grotowski did not define poetic theatre, nor did he attempt a comparison of his theatre to the dramatic or epic form. The table below serves only as an aid in characterizing some of the work at the Workcenter15.

  • 16 «Poetry is a sustained hesitation between sound and sense»: P. Valéry, The Art of Poetry, in Collec (...)

26Several points in the table might require further analysis, but I would like to focus only on the last entry about conflict, as it seems to me potentially the most controversial, and certainly the most interesting. The Workcenter opuses contain actions that refer to, or “present” conflict. In The Living Room, there is a fight between the warriors, there is a knife risen high, there is a moment of a violent removal of the hairpin, etc. These actions don’t elevate conflict to the level of the main building component of the structure, for there is no plot and there are no fixed characters. There are residues of narratives and characters in the performance, but they easily shift and never upstage the performers and their unfolding of the living room event. These components of conflict, or better yet, citations of conflict, build the tempo-rhythm of the performance, that is, they function on the formal and not as much as content-based level. They do not cause the emergence of dramatic questions (questions about the protagonist and antagonist motivation, objective, action and their causal consequences). Yet there exists a very strong sense of confrontation with the antagonistic forces that builds the performance in each of its moments – something that becomes visible precisely because the traditional, plot/character-based conflict is absent. It exists on the level of the performer-as-person work, but it includes the entirety of the unfolding event, i.e., the whole space, its separate components, the witnesses, the emerging form, and the quality of co-being of all combined. It is the event itself that has its omnipresent antagonist, which is the veil of indif­ference, omission, restrained presence, and other daily stupor from which the performance struggles to arise. Yet if what I describe in most general terms, appears on a minute detail level, at each moment of the work. Once this omnipresent antagonist is identified, a moment-to-moment work may seem a celebration of overcoming the falling into averageness, away from the extraordinary. In other words, also general, the protagonist is aliveness and the antagonist is deadliness. Poetic theatre, as I define it here via the Workcenter’s performances, is a particular mobilization of vitality via a specially suited form that is created and refined to serve that process. Therefore, poetic theatre, like poetry itself, features a sustained hesitation between form and meaning, to paraphrase modernist French poet, Paul Valery’s words16.

The Poetics of the Encounter and its Legacy

27Grotowski’s decision to dedicate his late years to focused research that could be passed on to his successor (a singular artistic heir) falls along the lines of tradition, well established and continued in other arts, but disappearing in theatre, where teaching is more commonly franchised along the graduates of fashionable systems. Meisner, Method, Adler, Feldenkrais, Viewpoints, Linklater, Suzuki, Alexander are examples of established and regarded approaches to actor’s training in the United States. Establishing their careers, American acting teachers diligently add these powerful tools and brand-name-credentials that showcase their artistic pedigree. Yet, this trend, cultivated by the economies of the culture industry, signifies something that Grotowski would frown upon. The labeled methods certainly provide a level of competence at both the supplying and receiving ends of pedagogy. However, we must remember that they function as marketable franchises that focus on their sustainability rather than research, even if research lies at their foundations. Their shortcomings arrive from the very claims that there is a system. Their successes come from fulfilling the need for a well-defined sense of craft and rigorous training in the world of acting. But their artistic merit, in my opinion, can best be found in those disciples who liberate themselves beyond the restriction of particular approaches and undergo their own research. It is the living continuity of deep questioning that gives methods their true efficacy.

28Therefore, what Richards inherited from Grotowski is not just an intimately passed deep knowledge of the craft, but also a search, a question, or, The Grotowski Question. How Richards answers it, lies beyond Grotowski’s control, but nev­ertheless has his blessing. However, in no way will Richards’ Workcenter be able to franchise “the Grotowski method”, for such a method does not exist.

29So then, the actor’s work ultimately becomes the actors’ work – a focused exercise in plurality, relationality, and sincerity. And ultimately, it will always be different work, guided by the accumulated experience, but directed towards something not yet known, not yet done. Old sages, such as Heraclitus, Aristo­tle, or Stanislavski, left wise words for subsequent generations of adepts, which can provide guidance for as long as millennia. But ultimately, each generation must define its own work from the particularities of its circumstances. Grotowski gave his words its weight through direct speeches that answered concrete questions asked by those with whom he had met in person. These speeches now exist as texts and as such can still enlighten those who in pursuit of their own work ask the same questions. But Grotowski also left behind the living work and its future lineage as the key part of his teaching and as a reminder that what remains of a life-long research in performance is often fragile and mortal: encounter, aliveness, and hu­man mystery. One can get there, to the depths of that research by the means of a shared artistic process. And that already is a lot to receive as a legacy, for there is nothing certain in it, nothing completed by it, and nothing material about it.


1 R. Schechner, Exoduction: Shape-Shifter, Shaman, Trickster, Artist, Adept, Director, Leader, Grotowski, in R. Schechner - L. Wolford (eds.), The Grotowski Sourcebook, Routledge, London 1997, p. 466.

2 A. Malaev-Babel (ed.), The Vakhtangov Sourcebook, Routledge, London 2011, pp. 6-7.

3 J. Grotowski, Reply to Stanislavsky, transl. by K. Salata, «TDR: The Drama Review», 52:2 (2008), p. 32.

4 I. Lindh, Gathering around the word theatre…, in P. Paavolainen - A. Ala-Korpela (eds.), Knowledge is a Matter of Doing, Acta Scenica, Helsinki 1995, p. 60.

5 F. Camilleri, Between Laboratory and Institution: Practice as Research in No Man’s Land, conference paper, Performance as Research Working Group, American Society for Theatre Research, 2011.

6 S. Houlgate (ed.), The Hegel Reader, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford 1998, p. 92.

7 E. Levinas, Martin Buber and the theory of knowledge, in S. Hand (ed.), The Levinas Reader, Blackwell, Oxford 2002, p. 67.

8 The project was organized and co-ideated by Theater des Auenblicks in Vienna, Austria, headed by Gülsen Gürses, and co-organized by: Fondazione Pontedera Teatro, Centre Dramatique National de Normandie -Comédie de Cean, Public Agency for Culture, Tourism, and Development of Heraklion City, University of Cyprus, and “For a New Bulgarian University” Foundation. The project partners included cultural centers, theatres, and universities in Russia, Turkey, Tunisia, France, Poland, Great Britain, Italy, Austria, Greece, and Malta. Tracing Roads Across: A Project by the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards. Program brochure. 2003.

9 Tracing Roads Across. Program brochure.

10 Thomas Richards, conversation with the author, Vienna, November 2005.

11 In 2010 the Open Program involved ten artists from seven countries: Itahisa Borges Mendéz (Spain), Lloyd Bricken (United States), Cinzia Cinga (Italy), Davide Curzio (Italy), Marina Gregory (United States), Timothy Kopfner (Canada), Agnieszka Kazimierska (Poland), Felicita Marcelli (Italy), Alejandro Tomás Rodriguez (Argentina), Chrystèle Saint-Luis Augustin (France), and Julia Ulehla (United States).

12 Website description at Accessed on January 20, 2011.

13 The Focused Research team members in 2010 included: Benoit Chevelle (France), Jessica Losilla Hébrail (France), Teresa Salas (Chile), Philip Salata (United States), and Cécile Richards (Belgium).

14 The table combines two Brecht’s tables from: J. Willett (ed.), Brecht on Theatre: The Development of the Aesthetic, Hill and Wang, New York 1992, p. 37, and C. Martin -H. Bial (eds.), Brecht Sourcebook, Routledge, New York 2000, p. 25.

15 All italicized entries are mine.

16 «Poetry is a sustained hesitation between sound and sense»: P. Valéry, The Art of Poetry, in Collected Works, VII, Princeton University Press, New York 1958.


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