Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Impossible Theatre

It's true. Theatre is always in crisis. We cycle.

"For some young artists there is wish-fulfillment in what we trust is only a fantasy. God is dead! says Nietzsche--and to look at their canvases or their sculpture, you feel them celebrating the triumph of Vegetation. When, as I do, you feel like punching them in the face on behalf of civilization, you are stopped by the fact that such art--the collage, the frottage, the sound blocks, the combine-painting, the Happenings, the whole iconography of feces, fetus, and demolition--is among the most formidable we have. The arms of Venus are mutilated still.

But in the American theater you'd barely know it, except by default."

"...As for the theater, where we have so long settled for next to nothing, it would seem the best way to start a revolution in the consciousness of modern man is to do what you can to start a revolution in the consciousness of people whose ears you may have. I am speaking not merely of readers, of audiences, but primarily of workers, those who must do the job. In the profession itself the human waste is incredible, as are the self-delusions, the dodges, the exacerbations of the rat race."

(Herbert Blau, 1964)

This is why we will continue to read Boal, Artaud, and Brook. It is a revolution that must not have an ending.


Anonymous George Hunka said...

But you're right about the cycles. The problem is that so many of the people you mention have been so marginalized, academicized, that artists who follow these theorists turn forever inside and never turn it out to the world again. The career is the pool into which Narcissus falls, these days, falling inward to the self instead of outwards where they might confront and commune with the Other. The revolt is always against the quotidian world, which we will always have with us, and which constitutes our unrecognized suffering.

6:25 AM  

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