Skip to main content
2012-2013 Season

Information on Rehearsals and Devising Pt. 2

In my last blog post I talked about A Wrinkle in Times’s use of performance theories. For this post I wanted to dive a little deeper into the theories and practices of devised theatre, giving you an inside scoop on the two theories that we are incorporating into our show.

Many performances are rooted in the theories and practicum of two individuals. Some would say that these two people are the two most influential theatre directors and theorists in the twentieth century. Here’s a brief look at both the men and the basic ideas behind their theories.

Jerzy Grotowski (11 August 1933 – 14 January 1999) was a Polish theatre director and innovator of experimental theatre concepts, namely the “theatre laboratory” and “poor theatre” concepts.

Growtowski’s Poor Theatre

He asked the great question “What is theatre?” His answers were formed in devising two brand new theatre techniques / practices, Poor Theatre and Theatre Laboratory.

Growtowski said in order for Poor Theatre to exist there only needed to by two essentials: the audience and the actor. Poor Theatre productions are categorized by stripping down the essence of the performance to two single elements on stage, the audience and actors. Actors trained so nearly every muscle of the body would be under complete control and could be moved at will. This allowed the director to focus on the body, making “it” the theatrical spectacle instead of the traditional spectacle / theatrical elements staged during that time period.

Richard Schechner is a professor of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. He is considered to be the founder of the Performance Studies discipline.

Schechner’s Six Axioms of Environmental Theatre

Schechner’s theories are based around 6 specific axioms. They are:

  1. The Theatrical Event is a Set of Related Transactions
  2. All the Space is Used for Performance; All the Space is Used for Audience
  3. The Theatrical Event Can Take Place Either in a Totally Transformed Space or in a “Found Space”
  4. Focus is Flexible and Variable
  5. All Production Elements Speak in Their Own Language
  6. The Text Need Be Neither the Starting Point Nor the Goal of a Production.  There May Be No Text at All.

Related Articles

data-content-type="article"

Presents and Presence

December 03, 2022 08:05 AM
One of the first things many people think of when they hear the word Christmas is gifts. Gifts and Christmas have been interchangeable for a very long time in our world’s history. But over time, what people think of as gifts has shifted. Each new era or generation defines it differently. There were monetary gifts such as gold, frankincense, and myrrh in the days of Christ, when all things were handcrafted and only the wealthiest of people could have precious ore or spices from distant lands. Or perhaps, during the great wars of the twentieth century, a gift of war bonds was precious when patriotism and the survival of the world made things like toys seem trivial to many. Now, everyone wants the latest iPhone or the newest technology. Throughout our lives, what we want also changes. Gifts shift from toys, games, and candy to technology or clothes–all inconsequential things that provide short-term entertainment. However, all of these things fade and have less impact on our true joy. Joy can really be found in the simple things of life.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

Cultural Exchanges

December 03, 2022 07:15 AM
During planning for Christmas Around the World, Jeanette reached out to people who had the opportunity to tour and represent the United States this summer. I had the opportunity to go to tour in Spain with American Rhythm and the opportunities we had to meet people and learn about their cultures and their experiences, were truly incredible. We were asked about our experiences with meeting other people and what it was like to share cultural gifts with them. These questions were used to get answers from dancers and their answers were in the videos and audio you will see and hear throughout the show. These are the more detailed versions of my personal answers.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

Gifts of Music and Cultures: Poland

December 02, 2022 10:02 PM
Throughout our time in Spain we had the opportunity to meet so many people from all around the world. From Mexico, Poland, Bulgaria, and of course Spain, we were able to meet so many amazing people and make so many amazing connections. We didn’t all speak the same language, many of them didn’t speak English and we didn’t speak many of their languages. So relying on the power of song and dance, we were able to connect through different aspects.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=