Saturday, January 25, 2003

Barba

"When we start in our profession, our greatest dream is to till the soil of our craft, to cultivate its trees of knowledge and meet in a combat-embrace its familiar spirits as well as those spirits that invade it from remote corners of the globe. When we start, we hold a flame in our hands to cast light on a distant voice: our vocation. With the passing of the years our hands clutch ashes, and all of our energy and experience strain to keep alive the ember that still glows. We have not landed on the island of freedom. We have been swallowed up in the guts of the monster. Theatre is a monster that slyly suffocates our original necessity with habit, repetition, excuses, and dull weariness. Theatre simply becomes a job, a familiarity with a craft that has lost its magic, its ethos, its ideals. At suppertime we sit down and eat. At bedtime we yawn. We see a tree and we pick its fruit. Theatre survives and helps us to survive enveloped in a healthy fatalism of indifference and tepidity. Only revolt can protect us, a revolt against ourselves, against our small temptations and compromises, against our acquiescence, our natural impulse to choose ingrained solutions and the least arduous path. The way of refusal, of anonymous and incorruptible work, every day, for years and years, transforms the monster into an island of freedom. We must not nurture excessive ambition. We must realize that inside the guts of the monster we are only a grain of sand. We must be sand, not oil, in the machinery of the world."
A Chosen Diaspora in the Guts of the Monster - Eugenio Barba/TDR: The Drama Review Volume 46, Number 4 (T176), Winter 2002(access through Project Muse)

"GRAY: The monologues transitional objects? Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for bringing that up. What I realized about the monologue is that in order to live my life in a free and open way, I have to have a monologue going. That's my way into the world. That's my transitional object. If I have a monologue going I can relax and not watch everything in life as material because I'm not searching for the next monologue. But once I begin looking for a new monologue... After reading [D.W.] Winnicott, just within the last year, I clearly realized that for me my transitional object is the personal monologue. And when I have one going I have a life."

My Art in Life Interviewing Spalding Gray:Richard Schechner/TDR: The Drama Review Volume 46, Number 4 (T176), Winter 2002(access through Project Muse)

"I found Lepage's tone and descriptions of his process jarring for reasons I could not, at first, identify. Near the end of the book it became manifest: Lepage is a cheat. In the section called "Paradoxes": In my understanding, the whole art of theatre revolves entirely around cheating - knowing when to trick the audience, when to cheat and also when not to cheat. In life, we might ask ourselves where the line lies between making love with someone and screwing them. The same applies to the theatre [...]. (141) Here lies a hypothesis that is present throughout, because in the writing, in the conceptual depiction of Lepage's work, many of his tricks are necessarily absent; the trappings have been removed."

TDR: The Drama Review Volume 46, Number 4 (T176), Winter 2002(access through Project Muse) Book Reviews - Chris Mills