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volume 28, no.

1
Winter 2008
SEEP (ISSN # 104 7 -0019) is a publication of the Institute for Contemporary
East European Drama and Theatre under the auspices of the Martin E. Segal
Theatre Center. The Institute is at The City University of New York
Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4309. All
subscription requests and submissions should be addressed to Slavic and East
European Peiformance: Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, The City University of
New York Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4309.
EDITOR
Daniel Gerould
MANAGING EDITOR
Margaret Araneo
ASSISTANT EDITOR
Christopher Silsby
CIRCULATION MANAGER
Boris Daussa Pastor
Marvin Carlson
Stuart Liebman
ADVISORY BOARD
Edwin Wilson, Chair
Allen J. Kuharski
Leo Hecht
Dasha Krijanskaia
Martha W Coigney
Laurence Senelick
SEEP has a liberal reprinting policy. Publications that desire to reproduce
materials that have appeared in SEEP may do so with the following provisions:
a.) permission to reprint the article must be requested from SEEP in writing
before the fact; b.) credit to SEEP must be given in the reprint; c.) two copies
of the publication in which the reprinted material has appeared must be
furnished to SEEP immediately upon publication.
MARTIN E. SEGAL THEATRE CENTER
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Daniel Gerould
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS
Frank Hentschker
DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATION
Jan Stenzel
Martin E. Segal Theatre Center publications are supported by generous grants
from the Lucille Lortel Chair in Theatre and the Sidney E. Cohn Chair in Theatre
of the Ph.D. Program in Theatre at The City University of New York.
Copyright 2008. Martin E. Segal Theatre Center.
2
Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
Editorial Policy
From the Editor
Events
Books Received
IN MEMORIAM
TABLE OF CONTENTS
"Stephan Balint (1943-2007)"
Eszter Szalczer
ARTICLES
"Street Theatre in Groznjan Croatia:
Eye on the Sparrow, Wade in the Water, and Lost Forest'
Jane McMahan
"The British Grotowslci Project"
Pablo Pakula
''An Interview with Boris Nikolayevich Lubimov"
Maria Ignatieva
"UNESCO Chair of Theatre-IT!
International Theatre Festival in the Carpathians"
Mark F. Tattenbaum
REVIEWS
"Silence and Extinction in Shadows if Forgotten Ancestors:
Paradzhanov at BAM, November 2007"
Rory Finnin
5
6
7
14
16
26
39
48
56
62
3
"Bucharest Spleen: Peca Bucharest Calling and
The Sunshine Plqy at the New York Fringe Festival"
Kevin Byrne
"The Jeweler's Shop by Karol Wojtyla: The Theatre of My
Imagination and the Theatre of My Thought"
Olga Muratova
Johannes Dokchtor Faust by the Czechoslovak-American
Marionette Theatre
Ana Martinez
Contributors
71
78
87
94
4 Slavic and East European Peiformance Vol. 28, No. 1
EDITORIAL POLICY
Manuscripts in the following categories are solicited: articles of no
more than 2,500 words, performance and fUm reviews, and bibliographies.
Please bear in mind that all submissions must concern themselves with
contemporary materials on Slavic and East European theatre, drama, and
ftlm; with new approaches to older materials in recently published works; or
with new performances of older plays. In other words, we welcome
submissions reviewing innovative performances of Gogol, but we cannot
use original articles discussing Gogol as a playwright.
Although we welcome translations of articles and reviews from
foreign publications, we do require copyright release statements. We will also
gladly publish announcements of special events and anything else that may
be of interest to our discipline. All submissions are refereed.
All submissions must be typed double-spaced and carefully
proofread. The Chicago Manual of S!]le should be followed. Transliterations
should follow the Library of Congress system. Articles should be submitted
on computer disk, as Word Documents for Windows and a hard copy of the
article should be included. Photographs are recommended for all reviews.
All articles should be sent to the attention of Slavic and East European
Performance, c/o Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, The City University of New
York Graduate Center, 365 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4309.
Submissions will be evaluated, and authors will be notified after
approximately four weeks.
You may obtain more information about Slavic and East European
Performance by visiting our website at http/ /web.gc.cuny.edu/metsc. E-mail
inquiries may be addressed to SEEP@gc.cuny.edu.
All Journals are available from ProQuest Information and Learning as
abstracts online via ProQuest information service and the
International Index to the Performing Arts.
All Journals are indexed in the MLA International Bibliography and are
members of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.
5
FROM THE EDITOR
Volume 28, No. 1 of SEEP covers a wide range of theatre and
cinema traditions, originating in Hungary, Croatia, former Czechoslovakia,
Russia and the former Soviet Union, Poland, Romania, but often manifesting
themselves beyond former borders and now global and intercultural. The issue
opens with Eszter Szalczer's memorial tribute to Stephan B:ilint, who moved
his ground-breaking Squat Theatre from Budapest to New York. Next Jane
McMahan discusses her street theatre in Groznjan, Croatia, with a full panoply
of multicultural performers from throughout Eastern Europe and beyond. In
the following article, Pablo Pakula introduces the ambitious and important
project initiated by Paul Allain to study and document the impact of Jerzy
Grotowski in Great Britain, accompanied by a description of the first
reunion session with legendary performers from the Laboratory Theatre. In
the third feature article, Maria Ignatieva's interview with Boris Nikolayevich
Lubimov offers a survey of one of the great Russian teachers and dramaturgs
whose work spans almost a half century. Mark Tattenbaum's brief account of
the UNESCO Chair of Theatre-IT! international theatre festival in the
Carpathians serves as a transition to the four reviews that conclude the issue.
Rory Finnin's review of the new print of Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors offers
new insight into Paradzhanov's masterpiece. Kevin Byrne looks at two
offerings by a young Romanian playwright at New York's Fringe Festival,
while Olga Muratova is pleased by a New York staging of Wojtyla's Jeweler's
Shop. The issue concludes with Ana Martinez's study of the Czech roots of Dr.
Faust as a puppet in her review of Vft Hoiejs's Czech-American production.
6
Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
STAGE PRODUCTIONS
New York City:
EVENTS
The Mint Theater presented Tolstoy's The Power of Darkness, directed by Martin
Platt, from September 24 to November 4.
Gardzienice, the Staniewski Center for Theatre Practices, presented the world
premiere of a new production of Euripides' tragedy lphigenia at Au/is, directed
and adapted by Wlodzimierz Staniewski, at La MaMa on October 4. The
production continued through October 21.
Russian composer Alexander Bakshi and American puppeteer Amy
Trompetter colla.borated on a performance of Bakshi's Requiem for Anna
Pofitkovskqya at Union Theological Seminary, James Chapel, on October 6 and
7.
Castel Felice by Kornel Hamvai, translated by David Robert Evans, and directed
by Jay Scheib, was presented at the Hungarian Cultural Center on October 9.
Threshold Theatre Company presented Giza-bqy by Janos Hay, translated by
Eugene Brogyanyi, and directed by Pamela Billig, at the Hungarian Cultural
Center on October 11.
TR Warszawa performed Krum by Hanock Levin, directed by Krzysztof
Warlikowski, as part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Twenty-Fifth Next
Wave Festival from October 17 to 20.
The I mmigrants' Theatre Project and the Czech Center of New York
presented the Sixth Annual Czech Plays in Translation, consisting of
performances of the following two Radok Prize winners:
Britnry Goes to Heaven by Petr Kolecko, translated by Kristina
Molnarova, directed by Victor Maog, on December 3.
7
The Elle Girls by Raclmila Adamova, translated by Michaela Pracekova,
directed by Marcy Arlin with ]elena Stupljenin, Susan Hyon, and
Jennifer Rice, on December 10.
The Past is Still Ahead, about the life of Marina Tsvetayeva, written as a
monologue by Oded Be'eri, adapted into a play by Sophia Romma, and
directed by Franc;ois Rochaix and Sophia Romma, was presented at the Cherry
Lane Theatre from December 6 to 15.
The Belarus Free Theatre presented Generation Jeans, a semi-autobiographical
depiction of the resistance to the Soviet and Lukashenko governments, by
Nikolai Khalezin at the Public Theater from January 11 to 20.
STAGE PRODUCTIONS
U.S. Regional:
The Academic Theatre of Warsaw University performed at the Polish Home
in Seattle, WA. The troupe presented a performance based on the songs of
Seweryn Krajewski and the poems of Jan Brzechwa on November 17.
UCLA Live hosted its sixth International Theatre Festival in Los Angeles. As
part of the festival, the Grotowski Institute's Teatr ZAR (Wrodaw, Poland)
performed Gospels of Childhood from November 27 to December 2 at the Freud
Playhouse. See SEEP 27:1 (Winter 2007).
STAGE PRODUCTIONS
International:
The Polish Cultural Institute of London presented A Funeral for Don Quixote,
based on the Witold Gombrowicz novel Kosmos. Written and directed by
Andrea Cusumano, starring Mira Rychlicka, known for her work with Tadeusz
Kantor's Cricot 2 Theatre, the production ran from October 5 to 14 at the
Area 10 Project Space.
8 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
The Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, hosted the
Interferences International Theatre Festival celebrating the two hundred and
fifteenth year of the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, from November 30 to
December 10, featuring the following events and performances:
Set Design Exhibition of Andrei Both.
Hungarian Theatre of Cluj (Romania) presented Buchner's
directed by Mihai Maniutiu, on November 30.
Katona J6zsef Theatre (Budapest, Hungary) presented Chekhov's
Ivanov, directed by Tamas Ascher, on December 1.
Stary Teatr (Cracow, Poland) presented Moliere's Tartu.ffe, directed by
Mikolaj Grabowski, on December 2.
Hungarian Theatre of Cluj (Romania) presented ung Fridqy (Hosszil
pentek) by Visky Andras, directed by Gabor Tampa, on December 3.
Hungarian Theatre of Cluj (Romania) presented Puccini's Gianni
Schicchi, directed by Silviu Purdrete, on December 5.
German Theatre of TirniOara (Romania) presented Brecht and
Weill's The Threepentry Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper), directed by Victor
loan Frunza, on December 6.
Hungarian Theatre of Cluj (Romania) presented Chekhov's Uncle
Va.trya (Vci.trya bdcsz), directed by Andrei on December 7.
Radu Stanca Theatre (Sibiu, Romania) presented Chekhov's The Seagull
directed by Andrei on December 10.
The Grotowski Institute, Wrodaw, Poland presented an English version of
Peter Brook's Theatre Bouffes du Nord (Paris) performance of The Grand
Inquisitor, based on Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, from December 7
to 9.
9
FILM
New York City:
Anthology Film Archives screened the 2001 Czech film Divoke vcefy (Wild Bees),
directed by Bohdan Slama, on September 27.
The Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn screened a series of new documentaries
titled Russia-Poland New Gaze on September 30, October 28, and November
18. Co-produced by Eureka Media and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, young
documentary fli.mmakers from Russia and Poland took part in an exchange
between fli.m schools in the two countries, creating short fli.ms exploring
Poland and Russia through the gaze of "the other":
10
About the Truth by Nikolaj Borts (from Russia), a portrait of a Russian
amateur theatre director living in Poland.
Mosc01v Wije by Barbara (from Poland), a depiction of the
lives of Russian oligarchs' wives.
lV!J Kieflowski by Irina Volkova (from Russia), Poland seen through the
life and works of Kie5lowski, including an interview with
Kie5lowski's daughter, Marta Hryniak.
The Suburban Train by Maciej Cuske (from Poland), observations on
Russia through the form of a trip on a commuter train.
7x Moscow by Piotr Stasik (from Poland), placed camera shots of
seven locations in Moscow capturing typical and distinct facets of the
city.
The LAst Stop-Zagorz by Yulia Iskhakova (from Russia), following a
postman visiting the people and homes of the small Polish town of
Zag6rz.
6 Bielinski Street by Karolina Bielawska (from Poland), the lives of
people living in a St. Petersburg communal apartment.
Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
A Folk Tale by Monika Filipowicz (from Poland), an exploration of a
village in Karelia, where life resembles a Russian folk tale.
The Sacred by Aliona Polunina (from Russia), the Lichen sanctuary is
seen as an amusement park destination for modern pilgrims.
The Seeds by Wojciech Kasperski (from Poland), the surreal portrayal
of an ostracized family in the Altai Mountains.
Anthology Film Archives screened Czech filmmaker Gustav Machatfs first
film, Kreutzer Sonata (Kreuzerova sonata), based on Tolstoy's novella, on
December 17.
The Bohemian Hall, Astoria, screened A Stroke of Butterfly Wings (Mtivnuti
morylich k f i d e ~ directed by Jan Sikl, on January 25.
FILM
U.S. Regional:
The Harvard Film Archive presented a program titled "The New Romanian
Cinema" from October 5 to 7. The program included:
The Paper Will Be Blue, directed by Radu Muntean, 2006.
Trcif.ftc, directed by C:itilin Mitulescu, 2004.
The Way I Spent the End of the World, directed by Catilin Mitulescu,
2006.
C Block Story, directed by Cristian Nemescu, 2004.
Manlena.from P7, directed by Cristian Nemescu, 2006.
California Dreamin'(End/ess), directed by Cristian Nemescu, 2007.
11
The Death of Mr. Ldzarescu, directed by Crisci Puiu, 2005.
Cigarettes and Coffee, directed by Crisci Puiu, 2004.
Stuff and Dough, directed by Crisci Puiu, 2001.
Liviu's Dream, directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, 2004.
A Trip to the City, directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, 2004.
The Tube with a Hat, directed by Radu Jude, 2006.
FILM
International:
The Institut Fran<;ais and the Polish Cultural Institute of London presented a
screening of Ubu et Ia Grande Gidouilie (1979), directed by Polish cartoonist Jan
Lenica, at Cine Lumiere, London on November 7. Lenica's animated
adaptation of the Ubu Roi plays was presented as part of the Alfred Jarry
Anniversary celebration.
The British Library hosted a conversation with Polish directors Tadeusz
Konwicki and Andrzej Titkow on November 10. The films The Last Days of
Summer directed by Tadeusz Konwicki and Quite a Big Apoca!Jpse directed by
Andrzej Titkow were screened as part of this event.
CONFERENCES:
Back from Utopia: Human Rights and Cinema in Post-Communist Societies, sponsored
by Columbia University's East Central European Center, the University of
Bucharest (Faculty of Political Sciences), and Romanian Cultural Institute of
New York, December 6 and 7. Presented films included:
12 Slavic and East European Peiformance Vol. 28, No. 1
SolidarnofC, Solidarnofc . .. (Poland, 2005), directed by Andrzej Wajda
and others.
Taxzdermia (Hungary, 2006), directed by Gyorgy Palfi.
The Death of Mr. Ldzarescu (Moartea domnului Ldzarescu) (Romania,
2005), directed by Cristi Puiu.
Compiled by Christopher Silsby
13
BOOKS RECEIVED
Burzynski, Tadeusz. Mqj Grotowski. Edited by Janusz Degler and Grzegorz
Ziolkowski. Wrodaw: Osrodek Badan Tworczosci Jerzego Grotowskiego i
Poszukiwan Teatralno-kulturowych, 2006. 405 pages. Consists of essays
written from 1964 to 1997. Also includes an afterword by Janusz Degler, a
bibliography of Burzynski's writings on Grotowski and the Laboratory
Theatre, a bibliography of Burzynski's writings on the work of the
Grotowski Center, editorial notes, a list of illustrations, an index of names,
and thirty-five photographs.
Car-Mihec, Adriana. Dnevnik tryju zanrova. Zagreb: Hrvatski centar ITI,
2003. 239 pages. Contains ten chapters on Croatian religious drama from
beginnings to modernism, the avant-garde, and the contemporary period.
Includes a bibliography and an index of names.
Cieslak, Robert and Elzbieta Stelmaszczykowa. Pol Wieku Teatru Lalek w
Szczecinie "Rusalka"-"Pleciuga" 1953-2003. Szczecin: Teatr Lalek "Pleciuga,"
2004. 209 pages. Includes essays, documentation, chronologies,
supplementary material by Dorota Komsa and Piotr Klimek, an English
translation of "A Short History of Puppet Theatre in Szczecin," a CD of
music at "Pleciuga," and dozens of photographs, many in color.
Grotowski, Jerzy. Ku teatrowi ubogiemu. Wrodaw: Instytut im. Jerzego
Grotowskiego, 2007. Vol. 1. Edited by Eugenio Barba. With a foreword by
Peter Brook. Translated from the original English edition of 1968 by
Grzegorz Ziolkowski and edited by Leszek Kolankiewicz. 254 pages. Also
contains thirteen additional documents and interviews by Grotowski,
Eugenio Barba, Ludwig Flaszen, Denis Bablet, and others. Includes dozens
of photographs ands graphics. Vol. 2. Dodatek edytorski. Edited by Leszek
Kolankiewicz. 77 pages. Includes Editorial information, Notes on texts and
variants, and index of names.
HeCimovic, Branko. U zagr!Jaju kazalifta. Zagreb: Hrvatski ccntar ITI, 2004.
371 pages. Contains essays on Slovenia and Croatian drama, Vojnovic, and
Krleia. Includes notes, author's biography, and index of names.
14 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
Murjas, Teresa, ed. The Moraliry of Mrs. Dulska. A Play f:y Gabriela Zapolska,
translated and edited by Teresa Murjas. Bristol, U.K.: Intellect, 2007. 192
pages. Includes a preface, introduction, and notes, as well as many
production photographs, drawings, and maps.
Senker, Boris. Hrvatski dramatifari u svom kazaliftu. Zagreb: Hrvatski centar
ITI, 1996. Contains essays on Krleza and other Croatian dramatists as well
as reviews of plays staged since 1976. 211 pages. Includes an index of
names.
15
IN MEMORIAM
STEPHAN BALINT
(1943-2007)
Eszter Szalczer
Stephan Balint, playwright, poet, actor, and director died on
October 11 in Budapest, Hungary. Born to a family of artists and
intellectuals and son of painter Endre Balint of European renown,
Stephan Balint was a leading figure in the underground Hungarian theatre
group "Apartment Theatre" in the 1970s, which, after leaving the country
in 1977, immigrated to the United States and became known as the New
York-based avant-garde Squat Theatre.
Balint joined the theatre collective in 1971 when one of his early
plays, The Labirinth, was performed by the group at the Kassak Cultural
Center in Budapest. With the group he co-authored and performed a
number of experimental pieces including The Killers of the Skanzen, Clown
Stories, Three Sisters (adapted from Chekhov's play), and Don Giovanni von
Leporello. It was also in 1971 that Balint's first volume of poetry, entitled
Arthur and Franz, was published.
During 1977 the group performed Three Sisters and their new piece
Pig! Child! Fire! at several international theatre festivals in France, Holland,
Iran, and the United States. In New York, Squat Theatre made their home
in a storefront building on West Twenty-third Street, where Balint and his
collective created and performed legendary multimedia pieces including
Ancfy Warhol's Last Love (1978) and Mr. Dead & Mrs. Free (1981, Best New
American Play Obie Award in 1982). The hallmark of Squat's
performances was the storefront window, opening to both the street and
the group's private and artistic life. It was a structure which, both literally
and metaphorically, served as their collective home, creative workshop, and
performance space, in which public and private, fictional and real
intermingled. After the departure of several original members, Squat left
the Storefront and went on to perform at more conventional theatre
venues. Balint wrote and directed Dreamland Burns, which was presented at
The Kitchen in New York and at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
(1986) and L -Train to Eldorado created for Brooklyn's Next Wave Festival
16 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
Stephan Balint (1943- 2007)
17
and performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (1987). Balint's next
play, Full Moon Killer, premiered again at The Kitchen in 1991. He also
wrote and appeared in Hunter (1989) , a ftlm by photographer Robert Frank,
and in The Golden Boat (1990) directed by Raoul Ruiz.
In 1991, after the collapse of the Hungarian communist regime,
Stephan Balint returned to Hungary where he continued to work as a
writer and as a director at the Csokonai Theatre in Debrecen and the
Merlin Theatre in Budapest. His volumes of poetry include Supergirl and
Confessions of an irresponsible Male (1996), and in 1997 he wrote the lyrics for
Janos Masik's album Peepshow-heaven. His latest work, published in 2005,
was a book of poems in collaboration with visual artist Gabor Rosko,
Conversations l!J the Docks.
The following collage of excerpts and scenes from Stephan
Balint's works shows a multifaceted artist for whom life is inseparable from
art, reality blends with fantasy, and the nightmares and anxieties of day-to-
day existence transform into powerful poetic images.
1
Stephan Balint (Andy Warhol) and Peter Berg in Anc!J Warhol's Last Love
18 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
19
20 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
21
Eva Buchmiiller, Peter Berg, Peter Halasz, and Stephan B:ilint
in Ancfy Warhol's Last Love
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SELECTIONS FROM BALINT'S WORK
Program Notes from Dreamland Bums
Through the store-window we opened the Theatre to the Real, inviting trouble
and fun. In this unlimited theatre space, fantasy became real and accidental
became fiction. We enjoyed and exploited every bit of it.
But the street changed, it doesn't look so real anymore.
And our fantasy land became a small storefront on Twenty-third Street.
It was time to move on.
The theatre became a building, an unacceptable burden, prison and refuge ....
It became an unreal place, and it was time to face reality again.
It was the most important period of our lives and to the hell with it.
We don't want to use the street as a gimmick, a substitute to lean back on. We
want to play everywhere, anywhere, and for everybody.
In the moment, when we decided to move, to challenge and compromise the
good old institution, the theatre, we split.
And nothing changed, you just can't beat fantasy.2
Excerpt from Antfy Warhol's Last Love:
"Ulrike Meinhof's Message from the Andromedas"
zzzzzzzzzzz (radio buzzing) zzzzzzzzzzThis iszzzzz the zzz radio zzzz of the
Intergalazzzzzzzzzzzzz 21 Revolutionary zzzzzzzzzzzz
committeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ....
This is the Radio of the Intergalaxy 21 Revolutionary Committee of a special
planet from Andromedas calling Earth. Come in, Earth. Over . ...
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
23
This is Ulrike Meinhof speaking to the inhabitants of Earth .... On the night
of May 19, 1976 in a special isolation cell of the Stammheim Prison where I
was confined without sentence ....
. . . As the rope was tightening around my n ~ at the moment of losing my
mind, suddenly I lost my perception but regained all my consciousness and
discernment. An alien made love to me ....
. . .. You must make your death public.
This is the only way that we may know about it, that we may come and free you
from the final, unavoidable and meanest means of exploitation, from death ...
You must make use of all the possibilities of the aggressive, capitalistic mass-
media. Publicize the time and location of the next death in the newspapers, on
radio and television. You must put up posters and distribute flyers. The
Intergalaxy 21 Revolutionary Committee makes arrangements on the basis of
your information.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. . ..
You must die with intensity, gentleness, discipline and freedom ....
. . .. The problem of transporting the new body ....
Where you always forget your personal and pathological death ....
There is no necessity to accept death mass-produced, arranged mechanically by
health institutions. This evanescence reflects dreadfully its uniformed cliche ....
You must make your life public and your death shall also become public. OUT.3
24 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
Excerpt from Antfy Warhol's Last Love
"Ulrike Meinhofs Interview with Andy Warhol"
WARHOL: ... I love actors best.
ULRIKE: Why?
WARHOL: Real people often get scared and they always spoil something.
ULRIKE: And actors?
WARHOL: When they spoil it, they do it well. Actors are really great. They are
disciplined and always quick to learn. Not a wasted moment to slow them
down. If they spoil something, they do it publicly and everyone cheers as if it
had been perfect. Then people have something to talk about. In the case of a
real person you never know what it is about.
ULRIKE: Would you like to go on stage?
WARHOL: Yeah, very much. To die again and again, as if nothing happened.
4
Notes
1 Many thanks to Eva Buchmiiller for her generous assistance in locating sources of
publication for Stephan Balint's writings and for making available photographs from
her archives.
2 Program Note for Dreamland Burns by Stephan Balint, The Kitchen, New York,
1986.
3 Excerpts from "Ulrike Meinhof's message from the Andromedas" by Stephan
Balint (Antfy Warhols Last Love). Squat Theatre, written and compiled by Eva
Buchmiiller and Anna Ko6s (New York: Artist's Space, 1996), pp. 112-15.
4
FromAntfy Warhols Last Love, ibid., 140.
25
STREET THEATRE IN GROZNJAN, CROATIA:
EYE ON 11JE SPARROW, WADE IN 11JE WA1ER.
AND LOST FOREST
Jane McMahan
Since the summer of 2005, I have been directing a vocal-theatre workshop
in Groznjan, Croatia, as part of the Jeunesses Musicales International Centre's
summer program. My involvement with Groznjan began thirty-five years
earlier. In the mid 1970s, I was a student there in a workshop led by Andrea
von Ramm, a noted interpreter of medieval vocal music. Living in her
medieval house, I experienced for the first time an international culture of
artistic people who stayed up late every night drinking grappa and discussing
art and politics. Even so, the work was intense. What I learned most from
Andrea was to follow your ideas even if they were wild and a litde outrageous.
At the time, I was active in leftist politics and the student movement, as well
as what seemed like a contradiction, a newly graduated singer from a music
conservatory who planned a career performing classical music.
Under Andrea's direction, we developed and rehearsed a street theatre
performance based on a medieval mystery play around the story of Lazarus.
One day before it was scheduled, we learned that authorities in Tito's
Yugoslavia would not allow the performance to take place. I began to realize
that art, music, and politics were not so separate.
Four years ago, I attended an international puppet festival in Croatia. On
a nostalgic visit to Groznjan, I learned that Jeunesses Musicales still ran an
active summer program. When I saw that none of the events featured voice, I
decided I would try to create a workshop of my own and bring to it as many
of my Barnard and Columbia students as I could and also try to attract a wide
spectrum of international students and faculty. I wanted to expose these
students to the eye-opening artistic internationalism that I had experienced.
That same day I met the director of the program, Mojca Makovac, and we
immediately understood each other and began to plan the first workshop.
Not long after my arrival the following June, I was approached by the
artist Rok Zelenka, who remembered me from the 1970s and showed me a
book he had written about that period in Groznjan. We flipped through the
pages, and there I was in a photograph, as Maria Magdalena with arms
26
Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
Acting class with Patryk Steczek, 2005
"Must I Be Bound" from Eye on the Sparrow, 2005
27
outstretched, looking down at the body of Lazarus. Since we had been
forbidden to perform, we had walked through our parts while a camera
recorded us. Later, Rok bestowed on me Andrea's straw hat that had been left
on a peg in his house before she died six years earlier. I only wore it after our
rehearsals started to develop and I knew she would approve.
I went to Groznjan wanting to create some form of political street
theatre, but it was clear to me that I had no business telling people who had
experienced the dissolution of their country, the move toward capitalism, and
the horrors of a war that I could hardly imagine, what to do or how to perceive
those events. At the same time that so-recent past could not be ignored. At
least my students and I could show an awareness of those terrifying events and
empathically participate in the darkness and the hope, the mourning and the
renewal. What better way to express this than through music and the most
human of all music, the voice? I think in terms of voice, so it was natural for
me to construct the street theatre performance around vocal music.
Our first performance, in 2005, was called Eye on the Sparrow. In rehearsal,
we had practiced transforming ourselves into a tribe of birds through
Grotowski-influenced exercises led by Patryk Steczek, our drummer, who
came to Groznjan from Arlekin Theatre in L6di, Poland. In the prelude to the
piece, members of the group crouched and moved mysteriously through the
village, signaling each other with eerie mouth whistles before joining up
around a leader who was drumming tribal rhythms and gathering a crowd.
After an incantation from Patryk, the group sang the South African
"Siyahamba" and, dancing, led the spectators to the next site. In the forecourt
of an ancient chapel, they sang and danced a medieval round, "White Sand and
Gray Sand." Gradually, discordant sounds crept in, disturbing the perfect
harmonies as the leader donned a primitive wooden mask to become a force
of negativity, but the masked figure was held back by the steady gaze of a giant
sparrow puppet that functioned as the totem of the group.
A joyful wedding dance scene followed, accompanied by Sephardic and
Croatian songs, but was interrupted by another confrontation between the
masked figure and the sparrow. A few steps from the wedding, the mood
changed to one of fear for the loss of women's freedom with an Irish
traditional song "Must I Be Bound," then changed again as the audience was
led to a central green space that looks over the town walls to a vista of valleys
and hills. While a youth (Peter Davis) sang a medieval song about a lark's flight
28
Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
Carnival leader Olinda Brasil in ~ f d e in the WtJter, 2006
29
Kasia Tercz in Wade in the Water, 2006
30 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
by the trouvere Bernard Ventadorn, two flower-crowned maidens danced in the
background. Eleanor Lipat, in Filipina costume, performed a traditional dance
about the stages of a woman's life to a background of varied drumming.
The idyllic mood on the harmonious village green was broken by a
staged reading of a segment of a mock description of a musician's daily life,
from Erik Satie's Memoires d'un Amnesiaque (1912), delivered sentence by
sentence in French, then English, then Croatian, as an actor mimed the
actions. Suddenly, from an upper window, a loud gong sounded, shattering
the peaceful pageant and drawing the crowd's attention to a group that sang
the Appalachian song "N ottamun Town." The fantastical lyrics and
grotesque images of this song about a world turned upside down, full of
contradictions, generated a bleak mood that was then dispelled as the group
led the way, singing, under an archway and up a cobbled lane. A Joan of Arc
figure in a doorway (Christine Fena) sang a medieval song, "Plangiamo" and
a deep basso (Bogumil Kozlowski) fiercely sang another medieval song,
"Santo Lorenzo," from a stairway that mounted the side of the village
church. The audience was drawn into a walled courtyard to hear "Rublje na
uzetu," or "Washing on the Line," composed for this performance by
Joseph Rubinstein, set to lyrics by contemporary Croatian poet Borben
Vladovic. An atonal piece for mixed voices, its chord clusters and close
harmonies recalled traditional Croatian harmonies but in a new and unusual
context. The lyrics describe the vision (seen from a train) of neatly piled
clothes as a symbol of sustenance. Throughout the performance, the sadder
segments were often followed by the song "His Eye Is on the Sparrow," a
Gospel hymn that functioned as the tribe's sustaining theme and lent its
name to the show.
Eye on the Sparrow clearly made an impression. The images were noticed
and talked about, and "Joe's piece" was performed at subsequent concerts
and very much appreciated. While never directly referencing the war, we
alluded to it throughout by alternations of consonance and dissonance, a
joyful wedding and a loss of freedom, a peaceful revelry and a world turned
upside down. Like the theme song "His Eye Is on the Sparrow," the giant
sparrow's difficult and impermanent victories implied the vital importance
of holding onto hope in the face of despair.
The 2006 street theatre performance, Wade in the Water, was also built
around a band of actor/musicians that led the audience through the village.
31
A carnival group was led by percussionist and dancer Olinda Brasil, who
had trained us to play the instruments he had brought with him and to
dance in Brazilian style. Brazilian carnival contains various political
elements. The call-and-response chants often mock powerful figures. The
dance form capoeira has its origins in a disguised martial art developed by
African slaves.
Carnival itself is an eruption of high spirits that is the opposite of good
behavior and hovers on the borderline of the uncontrolled. We encountered
some of the risks involved during a week of practice sessions while the
director of the summer program was away. Due to a momentary lapse of
judgment, I allowed our group to make pr actice runs through the village to
develop a feel for carnival interaction. Most of the residents seemed to
enjoy it, but some evidently did not. When our director returned, she had to
deal with the complaints. We were told to cut the village practice sessions
down to a dress rehearsal and were forbidden to play in the open air
restaurant that abutted on the building that housed our practice rooms. This
ban inspired a very effective opening scene.
The members of the troupe in their carnival costumes hid on the
ground floor and made an ear-splitting carnival racket. The wide wooden
doors heaved back and forth before bursting open. The cast tumbled out to
become totally silent, blinking in the sunlight as though released from
Plato's cave. They immediately moved onto the restaurant's contiguous
piazza and silently mimed playing their instruments in the patrons' ears. The
group then moved away, turned a corner, and began the procession to a
deafening noise.
A very large audience joined the procession to a square where a group
(led by Amy Frishkey) sang a traditional Bulgarian song in close harmony.
Suddenly they were interrupted by mocking actors on stilts (faculty Kasia
Tercz and Robert Wojciechowski), who danced a grotesque caricature and
shoved at the singers, starting a fight with the carnival group that dispersed
and regrouped. The group then drew the audience to another square. This
pattern recurred throughout the performance. In one scene a group sang a
French traditional song, "Compagnons de la Marjolaine," about a vigilante
group that protected the town at night. At the next site, singers performed
solo classical songs in different languages with guitar accompaniment by
faculty member Igor Paro, offering a sort of "pure" art music to a
32 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
transfixed crowd. Each time, the peace was shattered as the group was
confronted by sinister forces on stilts.
A beautiful Indian woman, Megha Kalbag, chanted a visionary Hindu
poem from the top of a stone stairway to an aural fabric of improvised
percussion sounds. She looked out at the sea one last time and descended
the stairs into a scene where an Indonesian prince (Dylan Kumara
Widjiono) engaged on a personal quest and overcame a dragon from the sea
by means of a slow-motion traditional Indonesian dance. Robert
Wojciechowski, from Polish puppet theatre Arlekin, manipulated a giant red
puppet dragon that he and Dylan had built together. A group singing a
Ladino prayer, "Cuando el rey Nimrod," and dancing with religious ecstasy,
led the crowd to the next scene.
The concluding sequence involved a series of river songs in different
locations: "Shall We Gather at the River" led to "Down by the River to
Pray," then Jackson Brown's "Rock Me on the Water," and finally to the
spiritual "Wade in the Water." The performers passed through unfolding
banners painted with Fauve-ish intertwined fish in blues, reds, and purples
(stylistically influenced by the work of artists Rok and Lea Zelenka),
drawing the crowd of spectators after them to freedom and joyful
celebration. But the "bad guys" on stilts were not allowed to cross. Repelled,
they collapsed to the ground (a difficult and artful thing to accomplish on
stilts). The group finally relented. To the poignant strains of "Plovi, Plovi,"
a familiar Croatian song about the sea, two small children from the village,
holding hands, revived t hese pitiful enemies and led them across the Red
Sea (or the River Jordan if you prefer) to freedom and celebration. The stilt
characters then joined in with a dance that was a benign grotesquerie, and
many of the audience took part in the informal Samba celebration that
completed the performance.
How much of the performance's subtext did the spectators notice and
identify? Impossible to say. If we had directly alluded to the war in former
Yugoslavia, we would have had no business telling anyone to forgive their
enemies. By setting it in a fable, we were able to allude to this without
causing offense. Giving a role to children asserts a faith in the future,
especially during a time when we cannot stomach the present.
This performance related to the war and its aftermath in other ways as
well. Central to the loosely constructed plot are ethnic groups who try to
33
Banner for Lost Forest, 2007
34 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
35
express a variety of cultural identities while being threatened by powerful
figures that loom above them. Different cultural identities are not just
tolerated but valued as a source of artistic richness.
The ethnically diverse cast exemplified this variety in its makeup and
through dance, movement, gesture, costume, art, and music. Different vocal
styles were exploited as well, from a straighter vocal tone where desired, to
a plangent tone, to a flowing tone, to a gruff throaty tone as needed. Our
accepted musical vocabulary spanned a variety of genres. My guiding
approach was inclusive of differences, and we were not too holy about the
right way to do things. Inventive theatre provided us with links among these
styles as our carnival procession moved through different sites that
functioned as sets and backdrops. The whole village was one large stage set,
uniformly ancient and free of cars. Our sites were carefully chosen, and we
developed our performance while working in them and with them. Our
painted props were minimal and suggestive. The only spoken words were
dozite and vieni, to beckon the crowd to follow us. The rest was song.
By choosing ''Wade in the Water" as the title song of the piece, we
likened the experience of this group of carnival people to black slaves who
struggled for freedom. My initial image in devising this piece was leading
the audience through a body of water to freedom, and my technique was to
immerse ourselves completely in songs about water that would become the
source of our ideas.
The following year, June 2007, the unifying image was Earth. I was
inspired by an article in the New York Times by Jane Perlez, entitled "Forests in
Southeast Asia Fall to Prosperity's Ax" (April 29, 2006). The language struck
me as unusually evocative and poetic. This article stayed with me for a year and
a half, and when the time came, I felt I had no choice but to base the next
performance on it.
Once again we began with a carnival group of everyman and everywoman
carousing and looking for something meaningful in life. This time we had two
leaders: Olinda Brasil, who returned as a faculty member, and Yvonne
Maginley, a student from Antigua, diversifying the ethnic and gender makeup
of our leadership. Yvonne taught the group African songs as part of our
carnival offering and danced capoeira with Kate Smith, another student who
had lived in China for three years and sang "Swallow Song" in fluent Chinese.
We followed a similar pathway through the village as in previous years,
36 Slavic and East European Perjomumce Vol. 28, No. 1
singing in many languages songs about trees, birds, and nature. Mislav MaraCic,
a fourteen-year-old boy from Groznjan, was our totem figure. A sensitive
performer with clear eyes, long hair, an open face, and angelic smile, Mislav
embodied a tree spirit that spread joy, peace, and comfort. Towering on stilts,
cloaked in flowing scarves, and waving leaf-decked branches, he received the
group's homage in songs that included Handel's "Ombra mai fu" (about a
plane tree), Schubert's "Fri.ihlingsglaube" (about a linden), and Falla's
"Asturiana" (about a pine). A Russian song about two ash trees led the
audience to an old wall of the village.
At the foot of the wall was our Lost Forest, a meadow bordered by
flowers and old stones that looked out toward the valleys and wooded hills.
Animals and puppet figures-a snake, a bird, a dragon-swayed in a gentle
dance to Brazilian drumming. A lost woman (Kate Smith), slowly walked a
spiral stone maze as she sang "Forest Fragments," accompanied by Kimmy
Szeto on violin. This song was newly composed by Joseph Rubinstein, setting
passages from the newspaper article mentioned earlier. It tells of the ecstatic
beauty of the place and of the rare species of trees that are about to disappear
as developers move in. A loud gong rang out. Two surveyors (Martin Zelenka
and Oliantai Kovac ) casually but purposefully entered the Lost Forest. One
planted an ax in the ground. They did not notice the animals and the singer as
they measured and took notes. The animals slowly withdrew. As the surveyors
left, the soprano sang Vaughn Williams's "We'll to the Woods No More."
The troupe and audience walked back to the center of the village,
accompanied by a song in Italian-Istrian dialect and by "His Eye Is on the
Sparrow." Members of the group paused to place offerings on a tree and to
give spectators sprigs of lavender from the Lost Forest.
Street theatre hardly ever goes exactly as planned. Our ending was slightly
marred by a loud sound check for a coming evening program, but the group
carried on. Lost Forest received warm applause. The mayor of Groznjan even
asked for a repeat performance. An environmental issue is something to which
all groups can relate. Such an issue will draw opposing groups together and
become part of the healing process.
Ironically, the people who own the garden that became our Lost Forest
and who so kindly lent it to us for our performance, are said to be thinking of
building a swimming pool on the site. So our Lost Forest may soon be lost
indeed.
37
As in the two previous years' performances, Lost Forest presented a
microcosmic populace slightly out of control in carnival fashion and
contained the idea of a search for meaning, purity, self-expression, art, or all
of the above, in an array of languages and cultures, together with the threat of
a Pharisee mentality that undermines and destroys these values. It also
depicted the need to persist in the face of disaster, to build hope, and to
protect what matters.
Even if the audience doesn't understand the words of the song or entirely
grasp the storyline, if the cast does and cares deeply about it, there will be an
intensity that will be riveting and will carry the story. In the minds of the
audience, the images we offer become linked like flip cards or a storyboard.
The music itself conveys some of the meaning of each song and creates a
succession of emotional responses that may be all that is needed to tell the
story. The form itself brings the cast very close to the audience who also
shapes the piece.
Groznjan itself plays a large part in molding our work. The village is a
magical place. Every time I go there, I am flooded with energy that makes
creative things happen at an astounding pace. I see this in the students and
faculty as well. We have produced a plethora of concerts and performances in
a very short time, each one different and vital. The students seem to make
huge leaps in their expertise in a very short space of time, just as I have as a
director.
Some of this can be explained by the extraordinary facilities we are
given for the work. These include a large studio with a grand piano; a former
school with a large dance room and three floors of practice rooms, and other
spaces that are left undefined and improvisational; and a lovely small wood-
paneled recital hall with good acoustics. Add to that the invigorating sunlight
and the constant sound of songbirds; the views of surrounding hills and
valleys and the distant gleam of the Adriatic; and a village of stone walled, tile
roofed houses on a human scale that is like a stage set everywhere you turn.
Groznjan is a theatre where all the senses are engaged: the scent of lavender
or cedar, the touch of sun or wind on your skin, the rustle of leaves in your
ear, the touch of long worn stones underfoot, the endless view that allows the
imagination to range and stirs excitement. Here street theatre is the natural
medium.
38 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
THE BRITISH GROTOWSKI PROJECT
Pablo Pakula
The Drama Department at the University of Kent (Canterbury,
U.K.) has strengthened its position on the international map with The
British Grotowski Project. In 2006, Paul Allain, Professor of Theatre and
Performance in the School of Drama, Film and Visual Arts, was awarded
!..203,000 from the U.K.'s Arts and Humanities Research Council to carry
out a re-evaluation of the theories and practices of Jerzy Grotowski. As
director of the project Allain stated:
Jerzy Grotowski's contribution to world theatre is widely
acknowledged. He has a central position in Britain in theatre studies
and a still vital influence on theatre-making, especially devising an actor
training in Physical Theatre. But teachers, students, academics and
practitioners struggle with a lack of precise knowledge and access to
primary sources, key texts, and good translations of his main treatises,
as well as clearly articulated and accessible documents of and
reflections on his practices. There is also no systematic analysis of his
influence on British theatre-making and university drama studies. This
project will address these knowledge gaps and re-map the genesis of
Physical Theatre in the United Kingdom through Grotowski's
important inspiration.
The British Grotowski Project will culminate in 2009 with an international
conference held at the university.
As the project reaches its second stage, this article will report on
some of the main events which took place throughout 2007. In particular,
it will focus on "The Constant Prince: Re-Viewed," a one day symposium
which took place last summer and was the final event of the first year's
activities.
One of the project's core aims has been to disseminate knowledge
which may help us to re-evaluate the range of Grotowski's influence. Who
does this us refer to, and how is this knowledge disseminated? First, it
should be said that the project was never intended to be a theoretical
39
exercise for the Academy, but was aimed at a wider audience, including the
artistic community. Second, the gathered resources and literature will not
only be disseminated through publications (a series of books is currently
being prepared), but via more accessible and democratic channels.
Therefore it is not surprising that the first step taken was the design of a
website for the project (www.britishgrotowski.co.uk). This virtual space has
consistently expanded and now includes a list of useful Grotowski-related
resources, online documents, and a list of workshops and events taking
place in Canterbury and beyond. Moreover, the website aims to become a
reference point and a forum for academics, students, and practitioners
which will continue to develop beyond the project's official shelf life.
The first live event hosted by The British Grotowski Project at the
University of Kent took place between the 26 and 28 of January 2007 and
was co-organized by Para-Active, an East London based performance
company that draws on Central European and Asian traditions. The event
was two-fold: Jola Cynkutis (Poland) and Khalid Tyabji (India) presented
their piece Stations, and ran a workshop. Jola Cynkutis was introduced to
Grotowski's theatre by Zbigniew Cynkutis, one of the core members of
Grotowski's Teatr-Laboratorium who would become her husband. She
participated in the "Theatre of Nations" in 1975, and when Zbigniew
founded the Second Studio in 1985, Jola became one of its principal
actresses overseeing the company's training. I t was then that she met Khalid
Tyabji, who had traveled from India to become a member of the group.
Between 1987 and 1989 Jola helped Khalid in the creative process that lead
to his solo performance Foolsong. They collaborated again in 1997 and since
2000, when a third collaboration took place, they have worked together
consistently. Their latest creation, Stations, shown twice in Canterbury, was
developed throughout 2006 in Poland and India. The piece is composed of
physical images and textual fragments (English, Polish, Sanskrit and
Bengali). The couple skillfully combines personal talents and practice with
background training inherited from Grotowski. Stations- part score, part
open structure-explores themes like tradition, identity, and transcendence.
The performances were attended by over eighty spectators.
Fourteen of those sitting in the audience had explicitly come to
Canterbury to participate in Jola and Khalid's workshop. Titled "From the
Known to the Unknown," it was structured around the search for self-
40 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
Rena Mirecka and Zygmunt Malik
41
recognition, with the body as a tangible starting point. Through precise and
demanding physical practice, the work leaders intended to awaken, open up,
and free the whole organism: muscles, voice, and soul. Although the group
was primarily formed by performers, actors, and educators, it demonstrated
an eclectic mix of ethnicities, backgrounds, and ages. The experience was
brief but intense, and was an excellent opportunity for participants to
expand and deepen their practice, by engaging with some Grotowski-
inspired methodologies.
On February 16, 2007, The British Grotowski team and some of its
associates traveled to Central School of Speech and Drama (London) to
participate in "How to Act." Their contribution to this four-day
international conference was titled "In Dialogue with Grotowski: Doing
not Acting" and consisted of a number of presentations, question sessions,
and practical demonstrations. Allain, as director, introduced the project's
aims, plans, and key areas of enquiry. Addressing the conference questions
of what performer craft might be in the twenty-first century, he highlighted
Grotowski's connection to Stanislavsky in relation to their work on
"physical actions." Illustrating this, Allain showed a brief extract of the
digitally restored Constant Prince DVD with English subtitles, demonstrating
how misconceptions of the non-textual nature of Grotowski's work can be
challenged and repositioned by new media and translation projects.
Andrei Biziorek, (Ph.D. student at t he University of Kent)
contributed with a presentation/demonstration focused on the relationship
between rhythm and action, exploring how various notions of rhythm
might be employed in actor training and in the creation of a score of
physical actions. Pablo Pakula (Ph.D. student under the auspices of The
British Grotowski Project), then at the start of his research, took this as an
opportunity to set out a number of questions relating to the dissemination
of Grotowski's work, and the creation of a possible genealogy of his
impact on British practice. Finally, Dr. Giuliano Campo (Project Research
Associate) and Persis-Jade Maravala (performer and co-director of Para-
Active) presented a short piece on a Zoroastrian Persian litany as the first
step toward a fuller performance. In her solo, Maravala used ancient
vibratory songs, related to her personal history, in order to awake parts of
her self which can never appear in everyday life or in group performance.
This approach resonates with Grotowski's later work which aimed to reveal
42 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
a vertical, higher connection expressed by the performer as "doer." Campo,
who creatively assisted Maravala, explained that although they did not have
a direct relation with the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas
Richards in Pontedera, they were aiming to arrive at a similar point where
the "action" was not directed toward the spectators but towards the
performer's inner self.
Following these two events, The British Grotowski
Project re-grouped to organize the main activities for the summer. Amidst
preparations, a smaller, more intimate meeting took place. On March 22,
2007, Ian Morgan returned to Canterbury, where he completed his Practice
as Research M.A. in 2003. His practical research there, in line with his
previous experiences and practice, led him to write a thesis entitled From
source, to score, to peiformance: investigating the development and efficacy of an actor's
score of pf?ysicai actions. Originally from Wales, Morgan worked between 1992
and 1995 at the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards and
engaged in their active research on Art as Vehicle. In what almost felt like a
private meeting, Morgan conveyed some of his impressions of this period,
as well as reflecting on his more recent experiences with Teatr Piesri Kozla
(Song of the Goat) with whom he has worked since 2005.
During the last two weeks in June 2007, The British Grotowski
Project reached the climax of its first-year activities. Rena Mirecka and
Zygmunt Molik, former members of Grotowski's Teatr-Laboratorium,
were invited to lead two sessions. This was the first time they had
both worked in Britain for many years. Given Mirecka's and Molik's stature
and importance it is not surprising that these work sessions attracted
international interest, some of the participants traveling from as far as
Canada. During the first week Mirecka lead "The Way" with seventeen
participants. Her work, borrowing from a number of Eastern practices and
beliefs, explored a territory that was beyond the merely theatrical. Although
some time was dedicated to techniques such as "the cat," the emphasis was
on improvisation, impulses, inner life and consisted mainly of paratheatrical
activities. Malik's work session was more closely linked to theatre craft. In
the first half of the workshop he exposed the eighteen participants to his
"body alphabet" as a means to expand their physical abilities through
associations and develop their inner life; the second part concentrated on
voice work, in particular on opening new resonators.
43
During the weekend between Mirecka's and Malik's respective
work sessions, on June 24, The British Grotowski Project hosted a day-long
symposium: "The Constant Prince Re-viewed" which attracted an
international audience of over fifty delegates. As part of the event, a unique
exhibition was displayed in the foyer centered on visual documents of Jerzy
Grotowski's landmark production The Constant Prince (1965). A number of
sketches, drawings and photographs of the production were on show, many
of them previously unseen in the U.K. The most interesting were perhaps
the rare color photographs that depicted the vivacity of the red mantle used
by Cidlak, and the scenographic drawings that gave an insight into the
design process and progressive distillation toward the bull-ring arena or
operating theatre which is so familiar to us now.
As the delegates took their seats, they were shown a number of
short extracts from various documentaries on Grotowski, which are now
part of The British Grotowski Project's growing archive. The focus of the
symposium was nonetheless, the first U.K. screening of the digitally
restored film of The Constant Prince. This important document is a melding
of two recordings, with the soundtrack belonging to a performance
recorded two years later than the footage. The precision with which the
sound and the image are matched together is a testimony to the Teatr-
Laboratorium's accurate and detailed work. The film had previously
exchanged hands almost as samizdat, passed around in closed circles, but
now an American distributor is negotiating its release on DVD. This format
fully exploits the benefits of the magnificent restoration process. The
previous graininess and fuzziness have been replaced by clarity as the
quality of both image and sound has been radically improved. The delegates
were thus able to view the ftlm in a condition that does justice to one of the
greatest achievements in twentieth-century theatre. Moreover subtitles have
been added in several languages; the English translation is by Allain. As he
would argue during the open discussion, the addition of subtitles allows for
a radical new understanding of the performance and its textual complexity.
The importance of the occasion was highlighted by the presence of
both work leaders, Mirecka and Molik, who were joined by their former
colleague Mieczyslaw Janowski. The trio, now in their seventies, were long-
standing members of Grotowski's Teatr-Laboratorium and performed in
The Constant Prince. After the screening, they shared with the audience some
44 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
of their memories and reflections on the production, and their work with
Grotowski. Initially Allain and Zenon Kruszelnicki, who traveled from
America to participate in the work sessions, translated from and into Polish;
but Mirecka, Molik, and Janowski were soon speaking in English. Despite
the strong accents this proved to be a more immediate, personal, and thus
more effective way to communicate.
Allain began the session by putting forward some questions, one or
two of the guests answering as they saw fit. The first to do so was Mirecka,
who eloquently talked about the difficulty of the work and the high
expectations placed upon the company by Grotowski who, she confessed,
"was sometimes cruel." If something did not arise from an inner motivation,
he recognized it; "he was like a laser," saying, "This is not your organic
reaction, you imitate something, you play something, you don't have a motive
of your own." Mirecka summarized her challenges with questions: "How to
give? How to maintain a condition of readiness? How to be the instrument?
How to answer him? How not to lie? How sometimes to be authentic in a
particular dimension? How to be, sometimes, total?"
Janowski was second to talk and expanded on Mirecka's contribution
by suggesting that during their etudes, the company members would expose all
their intimacy and become "naked." 'We didn't act, we didn't pretend. In those
scenes there was something new constantly born. Sometimes it was good,
sometimes it was bad, but Grotowski was very patient. It [the performance]
was something like a daily confession; there was nothing to show off, nothing
for effect." Lightening the tone and illustrating his point, Janowski recounted
one particularly humorous anecdote. During one of their sessions Grotowski
said to him "Mietek, your back is crying." Janowski understood this as an
instruction to cry, with tears from his eyes, but this was not what Grotowski
wanted. He declared that "everything is possible," and told Janowski to turn
around. When Grotowski said he wanted his back to cry, he meant it literally.
Janowski tried to search for what was being demanded but after twenty
minutes, Grotowski simply said, "I don't believe you. You know the way you
are, do something. We know the way you are, so cast off the layers you have
on." After a further hour of intense work and faced with constant disapproval,
Janowski lost control. He took a chair and ran toward Grotowski, and, as he
was about to throw it, he heard Grotowski say. "Now I believe you." This
anecdote caused amused laughter from the audience and resulted in a more
45
relaxed atmosphere; things suddenly became more human, more personal. As
the conversation progressed, it developed into a true meeting, an encounter,
an exchange more in line with the nature of the work being discussed than
with cool-headed academia. Janowski stated that Grotowski never had a plan;
his work was constantly and continuously in statu nascendi. Sometimes of
course, it was difficult, and there were moments when they needed a
"caesarean section. Sometimes we had to stop everything, and Grotowski
sometimes said that even if we had worked for six months, we must stop
everything and start work from the beginning."
Ironically, the talk would come to a similarly abrupt end.
Nevertheless, there was some time for questions from the floor. The audience,
possibly due to the nature of its members, asked focused questions that tended
to have a practical rather than theoretical angle. Janowski answered questions
about Flaszen's role in the creative process by saying that he was never in
rehearsal. "Grotowski never invited him because he thought that Flaszen's
mind was too analytic; he was too intelligent and this would have killed the
spontaneity." Mirecka talked about the difficulties of balancing private with
creative lives, and how they inevitably affected each other. Mirecka went on to
confess, "It was important for us to have the discipline of private life. But
sometimes I also went to the club to have a drink, to smoke a cigarette.
Because after the performance it was morning, all new energy, time to go
home ... "
As mentioned earlier, the discussion came to a rather abrupt end.
After approximately an hour, Janowski stood up, declared that the audience
looked tired, and suggested that the conversation should continue in the foyer
with wine and soft drinks. Everybody seemed to agree. As the formality
imposed by the auditorium was left behind, the character of the event
organically developed into a more social gathering. At one point, Mirecka
prompted the people whom she had lead in "The Way'' to bring out the
instruments used during her sessions. The symposium ended with a jovial
musical improvisation; as some people continued their conversations here and
there, others sang, played instruments, and danced around the foyer. There
could not have been a more appropriate ending to the event, or a more
celebratory climax to The British Grotowski Project's first year of activity. As
Mirecka herself had said during the discussion, "This huge work here in the
University is an example of how Grotowski, the great man, and my other
46 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
colleagues who have left this world early, are still present in our lives."
On April 3, 2008 Theatre Zar (Wrocl:aw, Poland) will give a concert
hosted by The British Grotowski Project. Later on in the month they have
organized a six day laboratory open to participants, ''Work Encounter:
Traces," which will be led by practitioners with extended experience in work
connected with Grotowski Qade Maravala, Anna-Helena McLean and Ian
Morgan).
47
AN INTERVIEW WITH BORIS NIKOLAYEVICH LUBIMOVi
Maria Ignatieva
By profession, Boris Nikolayevich Lubimov is a theatre critic and
historian. His research interests are Dostoyevsky and Russian theatre.
Deeply religious, he has also published works about Christianity, particularly
its significance in Russian culture and theatre. His father, Nikolai
Mikhailovich Lubimov, was a highly esteemed translator of Cervantes,
Rabelais, Maupassant, and Dante, as well as a friend of the Moscow Art
Theatre; the Russian poets, Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova; and the
great Russian actress, Maria Ermolova. Ermolova's daughter baptized Boris
and became his godmother.
Currently, Boris Lubimov is Professor at the Russian Academy of
Dramatic Arts (formerly GITIS), the Rector of the Maly Theatre School,
and the Deputy Artistic and Literary Director of the Maly Theatre.
Maria Ignatieva: \X'hen did you start your work at GITIS?
Boris Lubimov: I started teaching at GITIS in 1973, during the last year of
my graduate studies. Before, unlike anyone at GITIS then, I served in the
army, came back, and as a graduate student, was a teaching assistant to Pavel
Markov. In 197 4, I became an Assistant Professor. For the past twenty-five
years, 1 have been the Chair of the Department of Theatre Theory and
Criticism. Sometimes I feel ancient, for my professional life started when
Brezhnev was the General Secretary of the Communist Party.
M.I.: Boris Nikolayevich, thirty years of Russian theatre history have
passed before your eyes. Do you think it is possible to find an unbroken
unity in Russian culrure, despite the disruption caused by the political events
and changes?
B.L.: Disruptions are not unusual for Russian history and culture.
However, I firmly believe in the ability of Russian culture to survive the
harshest historical circumstances, to recreate itself, and to transform into
something new. Think of the three capitals, referring to Kiev, Moscow, St.
48
Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
Boris Nikolayevich Lubimov
49
Petersburg. There was also another capital, Vladimir, in between-so we
have three capitals and a half. How often the streets have been renamed, the
cities (from Tsaritsyno to Stalingrad to Volgograd). However, Russia has
always tried to find the continuity of its cultural tradition and to do so
within a constant pattern of changes. Let's have a look at the years of the
so-called stagnation. Politically and economically it was stagnation, indeed.
Russian culture, on the contrary, was in full bloom; the end of the seventies
and the eighties can be called the Soviet Renaissance in culture and the arts.
Remember Dmitri Likhachev, Yuri Lotman, Sergei Averintsev, Mikhail
Bakhtin, Aleksey Losev? In theatre, Georgy Tovstonogov, Oleg Efremov,
Anatoly Efros, Yuri Lubimov? Let's remember the underground press and
the non-official publications of religious and theological works.
M.I.: Some people are nostalgic about those years.
B.L.: It is always the matter of what exactly you are nostalgic about. If you
are nostalgic about labor camps, the man with the mustache, and other
members of the Communist Party in their fur hats on top of the Lenin
Mausoleum, I would not have any sympathy for that kind of nostalgia. But
if you are nostalgic about a group of honest, honorable, conscientious, and
dedicated people who worked very productively during those times despite
the regime, it's a very different matter. Remember Doctor Zhivago? Requiem
by Anna Akhmatova? Platonov's prose? Bulgakov's Master and Margarita? I
have always admired their heroism, I am proud to be their younger
contemporary. Don't misunderstand me, please. I don't want to sound like
a grumpy old man who is saying, "Well, the sun was warmer then."
M.I.: Boris Nikolayevich, what would be the best way to describe the
artists' relationship with the Soviet power in the eighties?
B.L.: The seventies and early eighties was the time of "fragile" Soviet
power structures, when they had slightly released their tight grip on the
throat of culture and the people. There was the revival of church music, the
first publication of the complete works of Dostoevsky; and after the
announcement of Perestroika, everything started to shift ... I began my
work at the Maly Theatre in 1987. One of my first goals was to infect the
50 Slavic and East European Pe!formance Vol. 28, No. 1
theatre with the idea of directing one of Solzhenitsyn's plays. It seemed
quite impossible then! But in the autumn of 1989, Solzhenitsyn started to
be republished in Russia. And soon the Maly Theatre produced his play,
Feast of the Winners.
M.I.: Boris Nikolayevich, what was the most amazing thing you remember
from the late eighties?
B.L.: Don't laugh, but it was the first private cafe in Moscow. It was July
23, 1987. How can I describe my astonishment? (Imagine that one day you
wake up in the U.S.A., and learn that your country is led by a tsar, and not
the president.) Only twenty years have passed since then! It was long before
the official privatization. Now look at the progress that the country has
made since, from the first official publication of Bulgakov's Heart of a Dog
and the first private cafe to what we have today.
M.I.: Boris Nikolayevich, today there is a second wave of nostalgia-
people miss the troubled and hungry nineties.
B.L.: I noticed that, indeed! Some members of the intelligentsia think
there was real freedom then, not now. But let's ask ourselves what kind of
freedom that was. It meant the poverty of many (95% of the population),
and the excessive wealth of a few capitalists, some of whom are now
wanted by Interpol. It is a different story now. Even the old teachers, who
were selling homemade sandwiches on the streets then, are paid decently.
The professors are not wearing old torn shoes any longer and don't try to
save money on butter.
M.I.: Can you say a few words about contemporary critics? I read several
articles about Yuri Lubimov's new production of Griboyedov's classic,
which is called the same as Vsevolod Meyerhold's: not Woe from Wit but
Desolation to Wit. Very few critics mentioned Meyerhold's name, as if his
production never existed.
B.L.: For some who started their careers in the nineties, it seems that
whatever came before them in Russian theatre simply did not exist at all. Or
51
everything was so insignificant that is not worth studying or writing about.
Historically, it is a very well-known paradox. Young critics don't understand
that they, in turn, will be toppled by the coming generations in exactly the
same manner. Two important issues: one is to analyze the past without
idealizing it, not being overly nostalgic about it (nostalgia also changes your
perspective), and the other is to get to the core of what was there, how it
was done, and what the cultural aftermath has been. Perhaps you remember
Lev Vygotsky's words, "Critics deal with the aftermath of the art."
M.I.: Boris Nikolayevich, how would you describe the new generation of
actors, directors, other young professionals you see in the Russian Academy
of Dramatic Arts (formerly GITIS)? Do they talk about Harry Potter, The
Lord of the Rings, and use their mobile phones, as other young people do all
over the world?
B.L.: We, historians, have to remember the twenties, when the greatest
philosophers and philologists taught in high schools, enlightening the
illiterate people who came from the cornfields. Today, despite libraries and
computers everywhere, sometimes I have a feeling that I am dealing with
cultural invalids. I am told by my students that Moliere is an Italian
playwright and that Pushkin was killed in a Stalinist prison. I don't
exaggerate. One of the most acute contemporary problems is the creation
of the collective memory, which is one of the engines of culture. These days it
is hard to tell how our cultural memory functions. Before, when Gorky and
Chekhov were mentioned, people would associate them with at least one or
two plays. These days there are no associations at all. Listen to some of the
teenagers' language today. The well-known Ellochka, called "the cannibal,"
from Ilya Ilf and Evgeni Petrov's The Twelve Chairs, with her twenty words
for all possible situations in life, is a Leo Tolstoy- her vocabulary is vast
when compared to that of some of my students. They use three expressions
only: WOw. Super. I'm in shock! These words, strangely enough, describe all
possible happenings in their lives-falling in and out of love, seeing a good
show, or a death in the family. Something that the intelligentsia has
traditionally laughed at is becoming the norm in the Russian language.
M.I.: Can you say a few words about contemporary actors and directors?
52
Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
B.L.: A few years ago I published a letter written by Dostoyevsky's widow to
Vassily Kachalov about The Karamazovs at the Moscow Art Theatre.2 In this
letter, she called him not by the actor's name, but by his character's name, Ivan
Feodorovich. In the past for actors, such an intense and complete
transformation into one's character was the meaning of the profession. This
has almost completely disappeared from the contemporary theatre. The actors
play better or worse, they are more or less talented, but their acting resembles
a computer game. When you play a computer game, and the character is killed,
you don't cry over his death. The same thing often happens in the theatre. In
many contemporary shows, I don't feel empathy or sympathy with the actors.
Why do we care if Lear's daughters die? Or Hamlet? Often either the actors or
the directors don't give me a chance to feel anything about their productions.
M.I.: Sergei Zhenovach is called one of the most prominent directors these
days.
B.L.: I can't be objective here since I was the one who invited him to the Maly
Theatre. The critics wondered why a director who usually chose to work in
small studio theatres would settle at the Imperial Maly Theatre. There are two
things that made him bond with the Maly. The fust is his love for the word and
the Russian language; the second is his high respect for real actors and acting
in general. That is a rare quality for a director, if we are talking about
contemporary Russian theatre! One might think that Zhenovach, who turned
fifty this year, came from the Moscow Art Theatre Fir st Studio and was a
student of Sulerzhitsky's. He inherited Sulerzhitsky's attitude toward theatre in
general and actors in particular. Zhenovach is amazingly old-fashioned. For
him, ethics and aesthetics merge. He visits actors at the hospital, gives them
flowers to honor their acting successes.
M.I.: Boris Nikolayevich, in a period of thirty years you have taught several
generations of theatre critics, some of whom are scattered all over the world.
What are you pedagogical principles?
B.L.: I have always been too self-critical to use the formula "to teach means to
preach." For me, it has been always a matter of conversing with my students,
53
and I strongly believe in our dialogue, which once started, can continue for
years. Dialogue is a favorite Bakhtinian idea, and it has never let me down.
M.I.: I think that that was one of the main lessons that you gave us: you never
imposed, never demanded, but always guided us carefully, allowing us to make
and then correct our own mistakes. How did you manage during your career
never to become a member of the Communist Party? It was almost impossible
then.
B.L.: Once I heard my father tell my sister, "If you become a member of the
Young Communist League (the Komsomol), I will continue helping you, but
you will no longer have a father." I remembered that forever. I was a bad boy
at school and was expelled three times. So I was not good enough to become
a member of the Komsomol. I was not a member of the Komsomol at GITIS
either. I always avoided their invitations. True, I could not get into graduate
school, but I was drafted into the army! Once in the army, I was asked whether
I wanted to become a member of the Komsomol. I again avoided
answering-! was twenty-five at the time. Additionally, I was the only one in
my battalion who had never been imprisoned before the draft, and they also
respected the fact that I already had my master's degree. Since I survived the
army (by the way, I helped to build the Baykonur),3 I was never asked about
my political views until I became the Chair at GITIS. In 1982, I was
bombarded with questions as to when I was going to become a member of the
Communist Party. I told them that I had never been a member of the
Komsomol, and thus I could not become a Communist! The situation was
straight out of Gogo!.
M.I.: For four years, you were Director of the Bakhrushin Theatre Museum
and did everything in your power to put the museum "on the map."
B.L.: While Director of the Bakhrushin Museum, I always doubted the choices
and decisions I made, so I am glad to hear that for many they proved
successful. It was a very meaningful position for me. My father lived in
Ermolova's home (which is now the Ermolova's Museum). As a boy, I spent
every weekend at their home, and the samovar that is exhibited there was the
one we had tea from. Every Director chooses a policy-you are either
54 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
Napoleon or Kutuzov. I chose to be a Kutuzov, and to move slowly, step by
step. I invited new people, and we did exhibits on Lev Dodin, Petr Fomenko,
David Borovsky, and Oleg Sheiintsis; one spectacular exhibit was dedicated tO
The Masquerade. Some of the oldest expositions were replaced. \X'e finished and
opened the Ulanov's apartment-museum, developed the Bakhrushin Museum
Internet site,4 managed to increase the salaries of the curators, and almost
finished the restoration at Chekhov's estate.
M.l.: For many years, you have been a great supporter of Solzhenitsyn, and
you were among the first ones to publish essays about his plays. Some people
call Solzhenitsyn "the conscience of our time, as Leo Tolstoy was for his."
B.L.: Solzhenitsyn is a true democrat and a man of unbelievable strength,
stamina, and bravery. Look at some of our new pseudo-democrats; I am very
surprised how much they love the second part of the word-crat-which
means "power," and ignore or despise the word demo, which means "people."
Solzhenitsyn's involvement is fantastic. While he could physically, he traveled
around the country. He helps former political prisoners. He helps writers who
are poor and can't afford medical treatment. Solzhenitsyn has been an
inspiration for our culture, our writers, and me personally. I admire his strong
will, which helped him to survive cancer, the Stalinist repressions, and his exile.
He reads everything that is sent to him to be considered for the Solzhenitsyn's
Literary Prize. Recently, he read a literary essay written by a young man who
was born in the eighties. Solzhenitsyn picked up the phone and called him
personally to talk about life and literature. I believe that is how tradition should
be passed on to new generations.
NOTES
1
The conversation with Dr. Boris Nikolayevich Lubimov took place in Moscow, on
September 10, 2007.
2 Lubimov is married to Kachalov's granddaughter.
3 The Baykonur Cosmodrome is the world's largest operational space launch facility. It
is located in Kazakhstan. It is leased by the Kazakh government to Russia until 2050,
and managed by the Russian Federal Space Agency.
4 http:/ /www.gctm.ru
55
UNESCO CHAIR OF THEATRE-IT!
INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL
IN THE CARPATHIANS
Mark F. Tattenbaum
The DN 1 highway, north from the Otopeni airport, winds slowly up
the Prahova River valley and leads to the resort village of Busteni in south
central Romania. This alpine village is nestled between the sheer peaks of
Caraiman at 2,384 meters and Costila at 2,498 meters. Caraiman is visible for
many miles, marked by an enormous cross that was erected in remembrance
of those that perished in battle. Separating these two mountain peaks is the
brooding Alba valley. Busteni is a bright spot in this valley and was chosen by
the UNESCO Chair of Theatre as the host for the 2007 International Theatre
Festival.
The venue for this festival-which was held from July 1 to 7,
2007-was the Center for fhe Arts in Busteni. Built in the classical Romanian
architectural style, this facility, previously known as the People's House of
Culture, has a single thrust stage with apron and seats approximately 150 to
200 spectators. Mr. Constantin Spurcaciu, the Director of the Center, and his
translator and director of Public Relations, Mr. Dinu Vlad, explained that the
name change was made to keep in step with the cultural and economic changes
currently sweeping across Romania.
The program included performances for diverse audience interests in
theatre. The house was at or near maximum capacity for each of the
performances with the audience comprised of members of the local
community, tourists, and other international theatre artists that were gathered
in the nearby village of Sinaia to attend the Tenth International Workshops of
Drama Schools. I attended the festival each night and was privileged to have
seen works by Caragiale, Viniec, and Mrozek that are infrequently performed
in the United States.
The productions were presented in the native language of the
production companies, with some performances featuring projected subtitles.
Striking was the ability of the audiences to comprehend the works presented,
regardless of language, due to the international language that theatre "speaks."
The success of the festival is the direct result of its diversity and
56 Slavic and East European Peiformance Vol. 28, No. 1
inclusiveness; its diversity of audience and chosen materials, and the
inclusiveness of the audience and the chosen materials. The late nineteenth-
century Romanian drama of Caragiale was showcased along side the
Romanian-French voice of V i ~ n i e c dance from South America was featured
along side of theatre from Shanghai, and on it went! The festival collected
theatre and dance artists from around the globe in Busteni and then invited the
world to share this collected culture on this small mountain top stage. Perhaps
we needed to get away from the world to experience the world. Perhaps this
was the magic that brought world theatre to life in Busteni?
Center for the Arts in Busteni, Romania
57
Aeschylus' Oresteia, Lesya Ukrainka National Academic Theatre of Russian Drama, Kyiv
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60
Slavic and East European Peiformance Vol. 28, No. 1
The festival schedule, which included productions from Romania as
well as several other nations, featured the following:
Sorry, by Alexander Galin, a production The Bulandra Theatre of Bucharest,
directed by Ukrainian director, Yuri Kordonsky.
A Stormy Night, by Ion Luca Caragiale, a production of The UNESCO Chair,
directed by Gelu Colceag.
Love Letters, by A. R. Gurney, a production of the National Theatre of
Bucharest, directed by Mircea Cornisteanu.
The Story of the Panda Bear Told f:y a Saxophonist Who Has a Girlfriend in Frankfurt,
by Matei a co-production of the UNESCO-IT! Chair and the
National Theatre of Craiova, directed by Catalina Buzoianu.
Rendez-Vous, a one-woman show, adapted from texts of Tudor Musatescu, a
production of the National Theatre of Bucharest, directed by Victor
Moldovan.
The Belgrade Trilogy, by Biljana Srbljanovic, a production of the National
University of Theatre and Cinema (UNATC) of Bucharest, directed by Mihai
BratiHi and Dr. Mircea Gheorghiu.
Emigres, by Slawomir Mrozek, a production of Studio Tanarului Actor of
Romania.
The Lesson, by Eugene Ionesco, a production of The UNESCO Chair of
Theatre-IT!, directed by Anca Col\eanu.
A Puppet and Marionette Show, a production of the National University of
Theatre and Cinema (UNATC) of Bucharest.
A Swan Song, by Anton Chekhov, a production of the Bulandra Theatre of
Bucharest, directed by Milaele.
61
SILENCE AND EXTINCTION IN
SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESI'ORS:
PARADZHANOV AT BAM, NOVEMBER 2007
Rory Finnin
Over the course of a week in early November 2007, BAMcinematek
at the Brooklyn Academy of Music screened a stunning new 35mm print of
Sergei Paradzhanov's Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Tini zaburykh predkiv; 1964)
to packed houses in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of fllm distributor
Kino International. With exceptional motion and color clarity, the print
constitutes a cinematic event in its own right. This new print reinvigorates the
elements of the film that have sustained its worldwide acclaim for decades and,
by doing so, effectively compels the spectator to engage Paradzhanov's tour de
force afresh. I left Brooklyn newly moved by the ftlm as an allegory for the
ethnic and national minorities consigned to silence and threatened with
extinction during the Soviet era.
Paradzhanov's Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is based on the
eponymous 1912 novella by the Ukrainian modernist Mykhailo Kotsiubyns'kyi
(1864-1913). Conceived as a tribute to Kotsiubyns'kyi on the centennial of his
birth, the fllm pays homage to the novella-a colorful Romeo and Juliet legend
set amid the Carpathian Mountains in a mythical, extrahistorical time-by
sharing its fascination with the customs and beliefs of the Hutsul communities
of western Ukraine and reveling in a wealth of ethnographic detail. Rife with
the images and symbols of a heterodoxical realm straddling the worlds of the
body and the spirit, of the pagan and the Christian, Shadows follows Ivan
Paliichuk (Ivan Mikolaichuk) as he falls in love with Marichka Huteniuk (Larisa
Kadochnikova), a child of a neighboring family in the midst of a blood feud
with his own. Under cover of the forest, the lovers make plans to marry. Yet
before they can wed, Ivan must head to the upland pasture for work, and their
parting is too much for Marichka to bear. She drowns while crossing the
Cheremosh River, and Ivan mourns her death by renouncing every form of
material comfort while enduring an existence of alienation and isolation- a
dark night of the soul. He eventually reappears to begin a new life and takes a
wife, Palahna (fatiana Bestaeva), but the memory of Marichka continues to
haunt him. His indifference to Palahna drives her into the arms of the
62 Slavic and East European Peiformance Vol. 28, No. 1
Sergei Paradzhanov
63
powerful sorcerer Iura (Spartak Bagashvili). As Iura and Palahna begin to
scheme to murder Ivan, a wood nymph in the ghostly guise of Marichka
appears in the night and ushers our protagonist to his death.
In Paradzhanov's film, mimesis gives way to poesis, for each frame,
which the new 35mm print renders in breathtaking fashion, is a tableau vivant.
In three general categories- color, camera, and composition-Shadows
distinguishes itself as a virtuosic landmark of world cinema. By "color," I refer
not only to the chromatic characteristics of the filmic image, but also to local
color. Paradzhanov brings the world of the Hutsuls to life by shooting in the
Carpathians of western Ukraine and composing the film's dialogue in the
Hutsul dialect of the Ukrainian language, which he famously refused to dub
into Russian.l In both the diegetic and non-diegetic realms of the film, Hutsul
folk songs, coupled with the arresting roars of the trembita, are used to
transport the spectator aurally to the banks of the Cheremosh, while urgent
vocatives and apostrophes that echo within the diegesis ("I-van-ko!")
emphasize the vastness of a mysterious land.
2
Meanwhile, our eyes feast on
sumptuous reds, pure whites, deep greens, and hazy grays. When Ivan first
reaches the upland pasture, for example, a wide-angle shot from a high
elevation offers us a striking image of sheep entering a corral: a blanket of
white slowly covering black soil below green hills adorned with a necklace of
fog.
Iurii Illienko's camerawork has been called "hallucinatory" and
"delirious," and the superlative motion clarity of the new print makes the
effects of his trucking and craning techniques all the more arresting.3 In the
fJ..lrn's opening sequence, the camera moves from a close establishing shot of
the face of young Ivan (Ivan Dziura) to follow him at a distance as he runs
through the snow and among the tall, thin pines of the forest to bring food to
his older brother Oleksa, who is felling trees. No sooner do we see the pines
themselves than we find ourselves on top of one. Falling to the ground, we
watch as Oleksa saves Ivan, who stands perilously beneath us, and sacrifices
himself in his younger brother's stead. The camera offers us a perspective not
only in the forest, but also as the forest, and in this way the spectator becomes
complicit in Oleksa's death. A few scenes later, our fortunes change
dramatically. As Ivan's father (A. Gai) fights Marichka's father Onufry (A.
Raidanov) outside the village church, we suddenly assume the former's point
of view as he is dealt a fatal blow to the head. Blood runs down the lens of the
64 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, directed by Sergei Paradzhanov
65
camera, as if down our forehead and into our eyes. From killing to being
killed-all in the film's flrst ten minutes.
By "composition," I refer mainly to mise en scene. In Shadows o/
Forgotten Ancestors, each shot is a window to a decentered and disorienting
universe. In one of the film's most astounding scenes, where Palahna flees a
powerful storm that Iura turns back with an evocation of his talismanic
powers, the characters are situated to the right or to the left of the frame, and
even partially outside it-but rarely in the middle. Instead, our eyes are drawn
to dead space, frightened animals, and whirling debris. Indeed throughout
most of the film, we flnd Ivan positioned on an incline contending with an
oppressive topography. Rarely does he stand on level ground: in the opening
sequence described above, he runs laterally to Oleksa along a hill, tripping and
falling most of the way; after Marichka is buried, he spies a deer, presumably
Marichka incarnate, atop a hill he must ascend. Angles perpetually pierce our
field of vision, serving to accentuate at once the ruggedness of the
Carpathians and the lopsidedness of Ivan's world.
Experiencing the new print of Shadows, I was struck by the way in
which this unconventional use of color, camera, and composition is strangely
suited to bringing Kotsiubyns'kyi's (superficially) conventional tale to the
screen. The pairing was hardly predestined. When the novella appeared in
1912, it received relatively little attention from literary critics and the reading
public, and even in the 1960s, it was by no means Kotsiubyns'kyi's best-
regarded work.
4
His Fata Morgana (1910), for instance, is arguably a more
Soviet-friendly tale of a violent peasant uprising that deals with issues of class
exploitation and revolution-and therefore presumably more appropriate for
an official centennial celebration of the writer's birth. Yet for Paradzhanov, as
others have implied, it was precisely the lack of a conspicuous political and
ideological agenda that made Kotsiubyns'kyi's Shadows an attractive subject,
offering him an opportunity to make a ftlm that both necessitated a departure
from socialist realism and warranted a flair for the exotic.
5
This exoticism, however, does not come at the expense of social
commentary, which Paradzhanov subtly achieves at the level of content by
way of two signi ficant departures from Kotsiubyns'kyi literary pre-text. The
first involves the character of Mykola (Leonid Engibarov), the mute
fuekeeper in the upland pasture.6 In Kotsiubyns'kyi's text, the fuekeeper is
endowed with the power of speech-in fact, we are told he is "talkative"
66 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
(hovir-9'z)-and never seems to leave the pasture. Paradzhanov's Mykola (or
Myko), on the other hand, reappears throughout the film and, despite his
impairment, represents a source of knowledge, integrity, and memory. He
relates ancient folktales and communes with the past in a primordial
language of grunts and gestures. He is a repository of information whom
Ivan implores, paradoxically, to "speak the truth" ("skazhy pravdtl') about
Marichka's death. Here, Mykola responds by simply raising his index finger:
Ivan is alone. Later, in the village tavern, he defends Ivan's honor by pulling
Palahna from Iura's embrace and spitting in the sorcerer's face. During
Ivan's funeral, Mykola solemnly mourns his friend's passing, but refrains
from the ribald games that the Hutsuls play in a traditional defiance of
death. In his comprehensive notes to the 1981 English translation of
Kotsiubyns'kyi's novella, Bohdan Rubchak elaborates upon these funeral
games thus:
These wild games, many of them blatantly erotic, will be played
throughout the night, until the early morning hours. The Hutsuls say
that the reason for them is to distract the family [of the deceased]
from their grief and, more important, to keep all the guests in the
house so that the family will not be forced to remain alone with the
soul of the deceased.
7
The games are designed to effect a kind of collective amnesia among the
mourners, a forgetting that will ease the pain of a profound loss. By not
participating in them, Paradzhanov's Mykola remembers Ivan, but his memory is
one that cannot be spoken.
Paradzhanov also goes to great lengths to intimate that Marichka is
pregnant, whereas Kotsiubyns'kyi does no such thing. Early on in the film, as
Illienko's camera floats above blades of grass and flits behind and between
trees, we peer voyeuristically at I van and Marichka as they caress one another
in the forest. In a tight close-up of Ivan's hand and Marichka's mouth, we
watch as he slowly, even timidly, feeds her red berries. The scene quickly ends
in a red dissolve that suggests sexual intimacy. Later, we find them at a village
fair, flouting their families' mutual animosity by dancing arm-in-arm in plain
sight. As they spin to the music, Marichka suddenly collapses into Ivan's arms,
and he carries her off camera. As she revives herself and departs for home, it
becomes increasingly clear to us what ails her. An old crone stops her in the
67
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, directed by Sergei Paradzhanov
68 Slavic and East European Peiformance Vol. 28, No. 1
midst of her journey and, laughing, gestures toward her belly. Marichka shuns
the woman and runs away.
The doomed pregnancy, I would argue, is part of a concerted effort
on the part of Paradzhanov to craft a critical modification of Kotsiubyns'kyi's
legend. Especially toward the end of the fum, Ivan is plagued by a fear that his
line will die out with him, a fear markedly absent in the novella. Kotsiubyns'kyi
tells us that Ivan is the youngest of 20 children, whereas Paradzhanov
underscores that, following the death of Marichka, Ivan has nothing-and no
one-left in his life. Further, in K.otsiubyns'kyi's tale we read: ''Although they
had no children, they did have livestock. What more could they want?" ([K}hoch
ditei u nykh ne bulo, zate bula khudibka-choho zh shche bil'she?)B In Paradzhanov's
Shadows, Ivan clearly wants more. In fact, it is on Christmas day (Ridzyo) that
Ivan asks Palahna, "Where is my child? Where is my child?!" ("De moia 4Jtyna?
De moia 4Jryna?!')
What we observe in Paradzhanov's Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, then,
are two prominent motifs that are understated, if stated at all, in
Kotsiubyns'kyi's text-motifs of silence and extinction. The first is personified in
the figure of Mykola, the second in Ivan and Marichka's unborn child.
Embodied in this way, the motifs operate independently of one another, but
in the space of the forest-which, as we have seen, figures centrally in the
film-silence and extinction intersect in a moment of violent destruction.
Indeed, from the film's first sequence, the sound of an "invisible axe" splitting
wood lingers in Ivan's world. It is heard intermittently throughout the diegesis,
prompting his repeated interrogative, "Do you hear?" (" Chuiesh?") Toward the
conclusion of Shadows, however, Ivan stumbles in despair down a hill where
nothing stands save the smoldering stumps of trees. The sound of the axe has
abated, and the resultant silence is somber evidence of an extinction event.
Illienko's camera offers us a birds-eye view of the extent of the destruction,
hovering above and to the side of Ivan as he descends the hill. We see nothing
more than a wasteland, whose eerie stumps in their multiplicity seem to
portend not only Ivan's doom, but that of his people as well.
69
NOTES
1 See the interview with Paradzhanov in Paradjanov: A Requiem, dir. Ron Holloway,
59 min., Kino/0-Films, 1994, videocassette.
2 The trembita is a wooden musical instrument approximately six to nine feet in
length. See Bohdan Rubchak's excellent "Notes on the Text" in Mykhailo
Kotsiubynsky, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, trans. Marco Carynnyk (Littleton,
Colorado: Ukrainian Academic Press, 1981), 54.
3 Bohdan Nebesio, "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: Storytelling in the Novel
and Film," Literature/ Film Quarter!J 22, no. 1 (1994): 44.
4 Zoia Korsun, "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: From Local Legend to
Authoritative Myth," Annual of Foreign Films and Literature 2 (1996): 93.
s Ibid., 94-96.
6 Mykhailo Kotsiubyns'kyi, T(ybrani Tvory (Kyiv: Dnipro, 1977), 438.
7 Rubchak, "Notes on the Text" in Kotsiubynsky, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, 72.
8 Kotsiubyns'kyi, 444.
70 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
BUCHAREST SPLEEN:
PECA BUCHAREST CALLING
AND 1HE SUNSHINE PlAY
AT THE NEW YORK FRINGE FESTIVAL
Kevin Byrne
The annual New York Fringe Festival brings a panoply of interesting,
eclectic, and obsessive theatre projects to the East Coast for several weeks in
August, and theatregoers with a bit of patience (there are hundreds of events)
and a bit of money (the prices are still admirably low) can sample a variety of
shows from around the country and around the world. Choosing which
performances to see can be difficult given the limited space for descriptions in
the press and official catalogue. Certain shows-Electra the Rock Opera! Chekhov
Jazz!-tend to leap off the page thanks to their zany incongruity. Among the
offerings this year were two new plays by Romanian dramatist Peca that
were brought to New York through a collection of civic and cultural
institutions for their US premieres; and, though scripted and performed by
native Romanians, were written in English. Set in and around Bucharest, they
presented US audiences with an interesting and occasionally troubling glimpse
at the lives and attitudes of the disaffected youth of the capital city. The
characters in plays, all reaching maturity in the time after the fall of
Nicolai communist dictatorship, display longing and anger in equal
measure. This tension, being pulled in opposite directions, leads to a kind of
stasis: something that could be said not only of the characters but of the
dramaturgy as well.
Peca can be grouped together with other new Romanian
playwrights who are confronting the social, political, and economic
consequences of the post-communist era and the rapid influx of capitalist
consumerism filling the vacuum. At best, works by Romanian playwrights
Bogdan Georgescu, Gianina Carbunariu, and others have cast a critical eye on
those rapid and unchecked (who could check it, really?) developments, and
display a mixture of brutal materialism, self-aware ironic posturing, and social
commentary. The young people in these works are openly disrespectful of the
older generation, and the attitude of the plays justifies these characters'
distrust and anger. The United States features prominently, either as a
71
dreamed-of destination or through its cultural (Hollywood) and consumer
(fashion, beverage, cigarette) exports. Another commonality is a desire for
movement: speed, distance, and travel factor in them as methods of escape
from stifling conditions. That these efforts are frequently empty failures again
speaks to the bitterness conveyed by these artists.
These two works, under the direction of Ana Margineanu, can be
grouped in this movement, but they are certainly safer plays than others by
His Nils' Fucked Up Dqy is a gleefully profane work in which the same
day is recycled in different ways, and the title character's existence as either a
drug addict or corporate sycophant is treated with equal contempt. The
patriarch in Romania 21 is an incestuous, alcoholic, corrupt politician who
guarantees Romania's entry into the European Union with the help of his
family and God. I Hate Helen has alien pornography and bestiality. Chaotic and
absurd, these plays reflect a nation in flux. Bucharest Calling and The Sunshine
Plqy, by contrast, can be easily understood by a foreign audience unaware of
the subtleties of contemporary Romanian society but lack teeth.
The episodic and fragmented Bucharest Calling was the more
ambitious of the two. It had flawed yet more interesting moments and
presented a complicated portrait of its eponymous city. The intertwined lives
of Bucharest's denizens unfolded over the course of several days. Andrei
Banescu) nearly hits Katia (Katia Pascariu) with his car, and his
apology leads to a clumsy yet successful pass. Andrei's brother Alex (Daniel
Popa) is a radio host and Karia's sister Iulia (Isabela is a prostitute
who calls his show. They also get involved. Her pimp Pall Mall (Cosmin Selqi)
is a failed businessman who lost his nerve after accidentally running someone
over years earlier-as it turns out, Karia and Iulia's mother. Andrei carries
around a satchel of money and longs to escape the city; Iulia wants to flee to
the United States and begin her acting career; Karia tries to free herself of the
obligations she feels toward her bed-ridden mother. The forced coincidences
of pairings and separations gave the play its style and gave the city a "lonely
crowd" feel. One is tempted to read the character of the mother allegorically,
as representative of the mindset of those who lived under the dictatorship, but
she is dispatched in such an absurd manner that it's hard not to view her merely
as a convenient plot device. Despite many attempts at communicating with
others-siblings with siblings, lovers with lovers-nobody is able to find the
mucilage to hold two people together. Neither love, nor money, nor blood is
72
Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
Poster for Bucharest Calling by Peca ~ t e f n
73
strong enough; even the concurring desire for escape is ultimately
unharmonious. Despite this bleak portrayal, genuinely cares about his
characters- maybe even too much. He distributes hope too generously; each
character receives a dollop. For all its grittiness, Bucharest Callings sentimental
core turns the play into treacle.
The production was well suited for the limitations of a festival.
Director Margineanu and the cast handled the multiple locations and rapid
cutting between scenes with a pauper's efficiency. Settings were introduced by
video projections along the back wall, the actors moved the furniture for scene
changes, and then acted like the folding chair they were sitting in for this scene
was different from the folding chair they were sitting in for that scene. It didn't
distract from anything, it was instead rather charming.
The staccato pacing of Bucharest Calling contrasted with that of The
Sunshine Plqy, the other work of in the festival, presented by the same
director and actors. The location was still Bucharest, but the play was static: it
had a single location, a rooftop overlooking the city, and occurred in almost
real time. A slight romantic comedy, the play was handled more delicately by
actors and director. Still, psychological motivations and witty repartee were
badly handled, a problem in both productions. and Margineanu reduced
emotional insight to long pauses followed by blurted confessions. The effect
was forced.
The Sunshine Plqy set the mood early, with The Beatles' "Good Day,
Sunshine" as pre-show music. I expected, even hoped, that this would be
ironically used, much in the same way that my jaded personality couldn't
believe that a work with "Sunshine" in the title could actually resolve itself
happily, but in fact it was. (Would that the show had begun with "Tomorrow
Never Knows" from the same album ... ) The play opens with Trifon (Selet.i)
proposing to Iza (Neamtu) in a romantic rooftop setting. She hesitates and he,
deeply wounded, flees. Dan (Popa) climbs up on the same patch of roof,
looking for a quiet and secluded spot to smoke some weed (an unsuccessful
running gag through the show has him trying to light up without anybody
watching, though otherwise he doesn't act like someone who would bogart a
joint). He and Iza hang out, both using blurted self-confessionals as flirtation
devices. Though he feels an attraction, Dan helps patch things up between her
and Trifon, and the two of them renew their love for each other as dawn
breaks over the capitol city of Romania. Iza wants to be an actress and all three
74 Slavic and East European Peiformance Vol. 28, No. 1
75
(")
0
~
z
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2
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Slavic and East European Peiformance Vol. 28, No. 1
characters quote from their favorite movies and the whole play felt like an
exercise in slick Hollywood craftsmanship. The actors, particularly Seleti,
threw themselves into their roles with a certain verve, but the blocking on the
tiny, sloped rooftop was awkward and almost nonexistent.
I wondered why these particular shows were chosen to be
imported-maybe because they would have a vague sitcom-esque familiarly
for a US audience. But by playing into familiar characterizations and familiar
scenarios, more was lost than gained. The specifics of the economic and social
upheavals in Romania may be beyond the expected knowledge of the average
New Yorker, admittedly, but everyone can relate to tales of corruption,
alienation, and blight. ~ t e f n has other, savagely funny, works that more
pointedly satirize the political landscape of former-Eastern Bloc nations.
Plays full of songs and monstrously cartoonish families behaving badly: incest,
gluttony, and two-dimensionality. The characters in both Bucharest Calling and
The Sunshine Plqy have a certain plastic quality to them, but when psychological
motivations are abandoned and their plasticity is amped up to Absurdist
levels-that's when truth is spoken to power. Hopefully, these works of
Ttefan, and of other Romanian dramatists, will soon be seen around the
Unites States. I believe they would find a welcome reception.
77
THE JEWELER'S SHOP BY KAROL WOJTYlA
"THE THEATRE OF MY IMAGINATION AND THE THEATRE
OF MY THOUGHT"
Olga Muratova
In the spring of 2007, the Storm Theatre in New York opened its
Karol Wojtyla Theatre Festival, presenting three plays (The Jeweler's Shop, Our
God's Brother, andjeremiah) from May 16 to June 17. After the summer break,
the festival resumed on October 9 with more performances of Jeremiah and a
fourth added to the repertory. The four plays were written by Karol
Wojtyla, (Pope John Paul II), and were presented in the Vatican-sanctioned
English version by Boleslaw Taborski, a well-known Polish poet and critic.
Taborski was chosen by a special papal commission to translate Wojtyla's
entire oeuvre.
For a few short hours on each of the fifty-six days of the festival, a
small oasis of poetic wisdom opened in the busiest part of New York City.
The interior of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Times Square, the
festival's venue, hushed reverently for the performances of Wojtyla's dramas.
The festival opened with The Jeweler's Shop, written in 1960. Arguably
more of a stage play than the other three, it is said to belong to Wojtyla's
pastoral period. job and Jeremiah, written in 1940, belong to Wojtyla's early,
biblical period. Our God's Brother, written by Wojtyla in the late 1940s, stands
on its own, telling the story of Adam Chmielewski, a nineteenth-century
Polish painter who had to choose between his artistic aspirations and a strong
inner calling to found a religious congregation that cares for the poor.
As quoted by Taborski, Pope John Paul II considered "the spoken
word and the theatre to be [his] calling" until "Our Lord Jesus thought it was
[the] priesthood."
1
The Jewelers' Shop is a perfect illustration of Wojtyla's
understanding of the power of the spoken word once it has become
theatricalized.
The architectonics in The Jeweler's Shop is three-tiered: Act I, which tells
the story of love between Andrew and Teresa, is set in the early 1930s; Act II,
which reveals the tragedy of Stefan and Anna's lost love, takes place in the mid
1940s; and Act III, which bridges the first two acts and unites them under the
umbrella of young love between Christopher (Andrew and Teresa's son) and
78 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
Monica (Stefan and Anna's daughter), takes us to 1960. The text of Wojtyla's
play does not provide stage directions, suggesting universality of location. The
spectators rely on their own imagination, guided by the poetic power of the
spoken word.
The characters almost never interact directly or address one another
in their speeches. Instead, relying heavily on the traditional stasis of church
rituals, they deliver their lines with little movement, gesticulation, or facial
expression, and their inner monologues are highly reminiscent of the
sacrament of confession. This tradition is a tribute not just to the medieval
mystery plays, but also to the Rhapsodic Theatre, a clandestine theatre
company where Wojtyla performed and for which he wrote his plays.
During the Nazi occupation of Poland, the Rhapsodic Theatre
secretly staged performances, mostly in private apartments and for very small
audiences. These performances required a bare minimum (if not a complete
absence) of props and were marked by an almost total stasis of stage action.
As in a church sermon, emphasis was on the spoken word, and the audience
was thus transformed from spectators into listeners. Such a format lends itself
to radio, and indeed, The jewelers' Shop has been performed on radio in several
countries.
Peter Dobbins and Robert W McMaster, co-directors of The jeweler's
Shop at the Storm Theatre, were very thorough in their research. The
production became a true tribute to Wojtyla's pastoral play. Seven young actors
played the drama's seven main characters, and six of them doubled in two
choruses and as passers-by.
Todd Edward Ivins, the stage designer, devised an octagonal gray well
in the middle of the stage, with a single white Wy on its side. Four gray pillars,
made of felt, rose to the top of the stage, surrounding the well. Thus the play's
three tiers materialized on the stage as two time-and-space bridges: one leading
to the past and the other to the future, one descending into an allegorical hell
and the other ascending to an allegorical heaven.
Jessica Lustig, the costume designer, dressed the actors in costumes
reminiscent of the historical period. In Act I, for example, Teresa (Elizabeth
Wirth) wore a simple white summer dress made of cotton and very basic light-
colored high-heel shoes. She also wore a single string of white pearls around
her delicate neck. This deliberate lack of color and ornamentation in the
costume suggested purity and innocence of a young girl, while the adherence
79
80 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
to a single hue showed strength of character. In her delicate whiteness, Teresa
of Act I resembled the single white Wy draped around the wall of the gray well.
Her hair, done in the 1930s style of slick curls arranged by hairpins tightly
around her head, shined in the spotlight.
With a calm and even voice, devoid of inner tension and excitement,
Teresa delivered her opening line: ''Andrew has chosen me and asked for my
hand." Andrew (Kristopher Kling) stood next to her in the right front corner
of the stage. The spotlight embraced Teresa's entire figure, never touching
Andrew although he stood very close to her. Michael Abrams, the production's
lighting designer, skillfully managed to show that Teresa was not speaking to
Andrew but remained within the inner boundaries of her se!f. Teresa was
speaking of love that "reached deep into the past and advanced far into the
future," and the stage was gradually illuminated with a subtle blue light
representing the Christian color of love, faith, eternity, and wisdom. In the
blue haze, the well and the pillars became visible, still leaving Andrew in the
darkness and Teresa in the bright bubble of the spotlight. Once Andrew
started reminiscing how his love for Teresa began, the spotlight left his bride
and stayed firmly on him, creating his personal space. Andrew never glanced
at Teresa when he explained that people were solitary islands that could only
be bridged and united by love. He never looked at her when he revealed to us
his innermost thought: true love is never passion alone; it requires constant
nurturing and care, and, therefore, should also be combined with a conscious
decision, an act of free will, a choice that man makes with his head and not just
with his heart. Love, as Wojtyla keeps repeating in his drama, is never a
singular emotion; it is always combined with "that feeling 'you ought to."'
The Church of St. Mary, transformed into a theatre for the
performance, returned to being a church where individuals with their own
idiosyncrasies are united by their faith and love of God: islands with bridges
between them.
This idea of the bridge, central to The jeweler's Shop, resonated in the
direction, lighting, and stage design. The actors reached out and held hands
without looking at each other, illustrating Wojtyla's concept of linking isolated
individuals, "two until now, [ ... ] one from now on, though still two." The
spotlight elongated to include another actor in its sphere; the actors
approached the well and the pillars to reinforce the connection between the
three temporal and spatial tiers. Even the monologues, although distinctly
81
separate, were linked by the absence of pauses between them, as if united in
the single continuum of an uninterrupted, never-ending sentence. The unique
modality of unitedness, which never imposes on one's individuality, bridged
theatre and sermon and reached out, touching every heart in the audience.
In Act I, Teresa and Andrew make a conscious decision to unite their
lives and go to the Jeweler's shop to get their rings. The Jeweler is definitely a
character in the play, albeit never seen on stage. The Jeweler sells wedding rings
to people in love after he takes a long look at them, searching for the presence
of love. Once the rings are sold to a couple, they cannot be resold or
exchanged: the old Jeweler refuses to take them back. A ring-a symbol of
matrimony, a bridge that connects two hearts and two lives into one-
becomes a metaphor for a love that implies responsibility.
The Jeweler is old when Teresa and Andrew are ready to take their
wedding vows; he is still there twenty-seven years later, in Act III, when their
son becomes ready for his ultimate commitment. A handful of people saw the
Jeweler, talked to him, and can now relate his wisdom to the rest of us. The
old man's shop is always open to people in love and forever closed to those
who have lost it. It is only natural to draw a parallel between the old Jeweler
and Christ, a parallel that did not escape the production cast. The Jeweler
knows the truth; he knows that everything in nature is "in harmony with the
world's totality, only man [is] off balance and lost." He knows that until people
find true love, they will continue wandering in the darkness with no hope of
seeing the light. Teresa, who realizes she had been lost before Andrew
proposed to her and she accepted, finds her guiding light in love. Suddenly the
whole stage is alight with strong, bright, sunny yellow, leaving no shadows, and
four members of the first chorus, holding stem glasses filled with sunny-
yellow bubbling champagne, come out to the four pillars to congratulate the
young couple and celebrate their union.
If the predominant color of Act I was serene blue, the background
light of Act II changes to red, the sign of warning, danger, absence of
harmony or balance. Act II of The Jeweler's Shop looks at the tragedy of a
married couple, Anna and Stefan, who have fallen out of love with each other,
severing their connection and unity. Anna (Karen Eke) is the primary narrator
in Act II; Stefan (Anthony Russo) does not speak. Teresa and Andrew stood
in the right front corner of the stage, a place near the Jeweler's shop; Anna,
bathed in the ominous red, gravitates to the opposite, left back, corner of the
82 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
CXl
'""
The jeweler's Shop, Directed by Peter Dobbins, Storm Theatre, Karol Wojtyla Theatre Festival, 2007
stage almost throughout the entire act, the greatest distance from the Jeweler.
Anna, wearing a basic brown linen dress, narrates a sad story of her lost love
and her longing to fill the void that the absence of love has created in her
heart. Anna is looking at all male passers-by, hoping to find a new passion.
They are played by the same actor (Chris Keveny).
In Act II, The Jeweler's Shop moves away from the form of a sermon
and comes closer to that of theatre proper. Even though Anna's monologues
still sound more like confessions than regular soWoquies, there is a definite,
albeit unilateral, interaction between the characters onstage. Anna still speaks
to the spectators, but the passers-by, walking across the stage floor and
brushing lightly against her, deliver their lines directly to her.
There are five passers-by with five different reactions to Anna. By
having all of them played by the same actor, Dobbins and McMaster
emphasized the facelessness and meaningless of casual encounters that are
never meant to blossom into true love. The sixth passer-by, however, stands
out from the anonymity of the crowd. He is a mysterious character by the
name of Adam (Peter Dobbins), who quickly transforms from a casual
interlocutor into a key person in the lives of the three different couples.
Dobbins is the only actor who does not play another role in the production. It
is tempting to assume that this is not a mere necessity that comes from his
function as director of the play, but is done to stress the uniqueness of his
character. Adam is an intermediary between God (or the old Jeweler) and
people, and is a metaphor for a priest. He is closest to understanding divine
truths, and can act as their interpreter to the people. Like a true shepherd of
souls, Adam guides people with his teachings and sermons, feeling
responsibility for their actions or wrongdoing. He is "a common denominator
of us all, at the same time a spokesman and a judge."
Adam resolutely prevents Anna from getting into a car with a man
she meets casually on the street, and he tells her the parable of wise and foolish
maidens. Anna sees the narrated play-within-the-play performed in her
imagination and grasps its exhortation never to lose hope or patience and to
stay prepared. She recognizes a foolish maiden in herself and realizes that she
too is walking in her sleep, "walking in a lethargy" because she has "a dormant
space" inside her where love used to dwell.
The Bridegroom passes across the stage, as Adam predicted he
would, and Anna is horrified to recognize her husband. The chorus of Act II
84 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
comes out; four actors explain the metaphor of oil lamps in the apocalyptic
parable of the ten virgins. Oil in the lamps is like love: one needs to watch it
constandy and carefully, to replenish it in time so that the lamp will not go out
when one needs it the most. The litde wick in the lamp is a symbol of life: it
drinks the oil of love. But once there is no more oil and the lamp is caught in
the rain, the flame of life is extinguished, condemning the lamp's owner to a
sleepwalking existence.
Act III starts in the familiar blue of Act I. Teresa, matured in the
twenty-seven years that have elapsed since our first encounter with her, is
standing in front of the Jeweler's shop once more. The actress has a different
hairstyle-her hair is arranged in a plain bun with no curls or pins. Her dress
is different too; it is more suitable for a mature woman. Teresa shares with the
audience how when their son Christopher was only two, Andrew went to the
front and never came back. But her love for him lived on, and her wedding ring
never left her ftnger. Their "union remained in (their] child," implanting the
same love in him.
Christopher (Keveny) is about to marry Monica (Lara Theodos),
Stefan and Anna's daughter who grew up in the loveless atmosphere of her
family. Christopher lived his life in the presence of love and in the absence of
his father, while Monica's father was there, but she never saw any love. Monica,
in her simple-cut pink dress, also wears light-colored pumps and a single string
of pearls around her neck, just as Teresa did in Act I. The shoes and the string
of pearls become important when Christopher tells her that he recognizes his
mother in her.
In Act III Christopher and Monica have an actual dialogue,
addressing each other in dramatic form. Monica shares her concern with
Christopher, telling him that because of her heritage, she is a problem girl who
requires and "absorbs more than (Christopher] can give [ .. . ] and herself gives
most sparingly." Christopher, who knows that "love is a constant challenge,
thrown to us by God" is ready for such a test. He is eager to unlock Monica's
"theatre of thought and imagination" and introduce her to the reality of it.
Anna and Stefan come to the wedding; Teresa shows up in the
company of Adam, who helped Christopher grow up in his father's absence.
Two of the four pillars remain blue, while the other two become red. The
future of the young couple, who come from such disparate backgrounds, is
uncertain. If they manage to preserve their love and never take off the
85
wedding rings purchased from the old Jeweler, they will continue on the blue
path of serenity and harmony; if not, the red road of off-balance sleepwalking
awaits them.
The closing monologue belongs to Stefan who, touched by the
children's love, embraces his wife and is ready to turn a new leaf, having
realized the responsibility of parents to rear their children in the atmosphere
of a loving family.
By imbuing a secular plot with biblical morality, Karol Wojtyla drew
a bridge connecting not only church-going believers with theatre-going
crowds, but also his own thespian past with his papal future. By staging The
Jeweler's Shop, a drama never intended to be staged, the Storm Theatre bridged
Wojtyla's "theatre of thought and imagination" with contemporary U.S.
theatre. Playing skillfully on "the taut strings of a harp" of audience's hearts,
the theatricalized word written by Wojtyla and spoken by the Storm Theatre
ensemble, reached New Yorkers of the twenty-ft.rst century.
NOTES
1 Boles law Taborski, "Introduction," in Karol Wojtyla, The Jewelers Shop, San Francisco,
Ignatius Press, 1992, 11.
86 Slavic and East European Perjom1ance Vol. 28, No. 1
JOHANNES DOKCHTOR FAUST BY THE
CZECHOSLOVAK-AMERICAN MARIONETTE THEATRE
Ana Martinez
Since 1990, The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre
(CAM1) has become known for staging and preserving traditional puppetry;
however, their recent revival, in the fall of 2007, of johannes Dokchtor Faust: A
Petrifying Puppet Cometfye reminded its audiences that their art is not a nostalgic
one, but one that is very much alive. Performed in a traditional puppet booth
at the Bohemian Hall in New York City, CAMT's Faust is an intimate
marionette piece now considered a company's signature piece along with other
of their adaptations of Western classics. Vit Hoi'ejs, company founder and
artistic director, injects new meanings and life to the long Czech tradition of
marionettes. In Bohemia, puppetry developed as a popular, folk, and oral art
of wandering puppeteers, which during the German and Soviet occupations
was used as a performative tool to keep the Czech language and identity alive.
Because of its materiality and adaptability, puppetry's cultural role has changed
and developed according to different contexts. With Faust, CAMT takes
advantage of puppetry's portability, mobility, and peripatetic nature.
The well-known Faust legend has a singular history of which
puppetry, especially Czech, is very proud of. The popular fable tells that there
is a hole in the ceiling of the Faust House in Prague through which the devil
carried the necromancer away when his contract with the devil expired. This
became the fmal scene in the puppet version of the myth. Faust's first public
appearance in the theatre was in Germany as a puppet show and its stagings in
marketplaces and public spaces became a source of inspiration for other works
such as for Goethe's memorable play. In Hoi'ejs's adaptation there is a
straightforward intention to preserve this tradition by using the version that
was ultimately published in Prague in 1862 signed only with the initials A.B.,
while at the same time and in a postmodern fashion actualizes it by the
insertion of anachronisms and material incongruities. For example, when
asking for riches, Faust demands a SUV from Mephistopheles and Kasparek,
the anarchic jester and legendary Czech puppet character, makes sure that,
using his high-pitched voice and continuous laughter, the audience gets his
jokes and comments about the Bush Administration and about other
87
88
johannes Dokchtor Faust: A Petrijjing Puppet Comet!Je,
Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre (CAM1), 2007
Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
contemporary cultural manifestations such as Craigslist and U Tube. CAMT's
Faust is an eclectic picture in which the material and aural past of the Faust
legend is presented to us by exposing, in a witty way, some small fragments of
our socio-political condition.
The puppets used in Faust, mostly marionettes (loutkove divadlo or
puppets on strings), are responsible for preserving the memory of the
itinerant Faust puppet shows. Some of them, like the Mephistopheles
character, are hundred-years old, while others, like Faust, are copies of such
old versions. Unlike the marionettes used in the company's staging of Hamlet,
whose bodies are painted and exposed, these are wonderfully dressed for
different characterizations and in order to cover their unfinished carved
bodies. The costumes shapes used for Faust, for his servant Wagner, for the
devil, and for others, such as Kasparek, are detailed miniature versions of real
period costumes, so well executed that one is very tempted to justify Faust's
erotic attraction to the devil disguised as Helen of Troy wearing a pinkish
layered dress and seductive veil.
However, the best treat of this production is its scenography and the
multiple and fascinating ways through which the company takes advantage of
the possibilities of the legend's uncanny characteristic by combining old
staging techniques with new and original ones. One of the most enjoyable
moments is to see how the small scenery serves to convey the idea of Faust
traveling throughout different spaces with rapid scene changes, moving
machines, perspective sets, backdrops, props, and practicals.
Faust travels in Mephistopheles' back resembling an eighteenth-
century flying machine on stage. We see Faust floating through the depths of
the sea with a painted sea-panorama in the background, with a miniaturized
version of a sea-machine moving and surrounded by water spirits and
reptilians of different sizes, colors, and shapes- all set in motion and place in
order to create the illusion of movement. CAMT's use of old scenic
techniques in a contemporary performance reads as a smart reminder that
even though puppetry has historically used and copied real theatre stage
techniques, it has also complemented and originated new ideas and techniques
used in full-scale productions.
Moreover, the different environments and places that Faust and
Mephistopheles visit emphasize the puppet nature of the show with an
awkward, stylized, and expressive quality. During Faust's visit at the court of
89
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Johannes Dokchtor Faust: A Petrijj,ing Puppet Comecjye,
Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre (CAMT), 2007
Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
johannes Dokchtor Faust: A Petrijjing Puppet Comedye, Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre (CAM'I), 2007
-
92
Johannes Dokchtor Faust A Petrifying Puppet Comet!Je,
Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre (CAMT), 2007
Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
Portugal, a set of wings in perspective is brought onto the stage while groups
of courtiers, each attached into one rod and strings, dance in a two-
dimensional and wacky manner paralleling the set and the static posture of the
queen and king. This scene draws our attention to the fact that, for the last
century, at least in the Czech Republic, artists have maintained and creatively
used puppetry's artificiality and plastic expressiveness instead of concealing it.
It is possible to perceive that material grace and simultaneous awkwardness
that humans and actors lack and that directors and writers such as Edward
Gordon Craig and Heinrich von Kleist praised and theorized.
The piece's material expressionism is achieved by a composition of
contrasting scales, shapes, textures, and bodies. In the first scene, set in Faust's
small study, Horejs's head pops out of a downstage trap, which also serves as
a passage for smoke effects in the supernatural scenes. When in a forest, an
inventive landscape is created by the puppeteers standing onstagc in a way that
only their legs are visible wearing pants painted as trees and foliage. The good
and evil angels are tiny puppets that sit and stand on Faust's shoulders while
giving him opposing advice. In another scene, four traditional devil
marionettes of different sizes share the acting role and form a line across the
stage against a backdrop of "evil" legs wearing fishnet stockings. At moments
like this, the performance takes the shape of a grotesque parade of real and
artificial body parts. In this way, the bodies of the five puppeteers (Deborah
Beshaw, Michelle Beshaw, Jonathan Cross, Vft Horejs and Theresa Linnihan)
become a scenographic display and background for the principal actors of the
show-the approximately twenty puppets.
From the beginning of the show, when Vit Horejs proudly presents
the puppet show of our hero, a mysterious and carnivalesque soundscape
created by accordion, drum, harmonica, metal sheets, whistles, and other
sound devices accompanies the piece and frames it in such a way that the
miniature and illusionistic world of CAMT's johannes Dokchtor Faust seems
distant but at the same time brilliantly familiar.
93
CONTRIBUTORS
KEVIN BYRNE is a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate Center, the City
University of New York. His dissertation focuses on U.S. blackface and
minstrel performance in the 1920s. His most recent article for SEEP was a
review of Witk.iewicz's Crar; Locomotive at the Trap Door Theatre of Chicago.
RORY FINNIN is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Slavic
Languages and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at
Columbia University. He is currently writing his dissertation, which is a
comparative study of literary allusions to the deportation and displacement of
the Crimean Tatars in Russian, Ukrainian, and Turkish literatures.
MARIA IGNATIEVA is Associate Professor, Department of Theatre, The
Ohio State University, Lima campus, and previously Assistant Professor at the
Moscow Art Theatre School-Studio. She is author of over fifty publications
on Russian theatre, including most recently the chapters "A Little Orchestra of
Hope" and "Oleg Tabakov at the Moscow Art Theatre" in the anthology, The
Changing Scene: Theatre and Peiformance in Eastern Europe (The Scarecrow Press,
2008). Her book Stanis/avsk:J and Female Actors will be published this fall.
JANE McMAHAN teaches voice and vocal repertoire and directs
performances at Barnard College. She has written on puppet and street theatre
viewed in France and Eastern Europe. Director and founder of the
International Vocal Arts Workshop and Performing Ensemble, she is looking
forward to its fourth season at Jeunesses Musicales, Groznjan, Croatia.
ANA MARTINEZ is a Ph.D. student in the Theatre Program at the Graduate
Center, New York City (CUNY). She is an architect (Universidad Anahuac,
Mexico City) and she holds an M.A. in Scenography from Central Saint
Martins College of Art and Design (London, U.K.). Her fields of research are
site-specific performance, theatre architecture, and scenography.
94 Slavic and East European Performance Vol. 28, No. 1
OLGA MURTOVA teaches Russian Studies at John Jay College of Criminal
Justice, City University of New York. She is currently working on her doctoral
dissertation at the Department of Comparative Literature, Graduate Center,
CUNY She is a regular contributor to SEEP.
PABLO PAKULA completed his Masters of Drama degree at the University
of Kent in June 2006. He is a co-founder of Accidental Collective, a creative
think-tank experimenting in performance, live art, and media with three other
students. (www.accidentalcollective.co.uk) . In September 2006, Pablo Pakula
received a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to carry out
a Ph.D affiliated to The British Grotowski Project, a three year project led by
Professor Paul Allain at the University of Kent's Drama Department
(www.britishgrotowski.co.uk). Since then Pablo Pakula has been investigating
the impact and influence of renowned Polish director Jerzy Grotowski on
British theatre.
ESZTER SZALCZER is Associate Professor of Theatre at the University at
Albany, State University of New York. A native of Hungary, her research
interests include modern and contemporary East European as well as
Scandinavian theatre.
MARK F. TATTENBAUM holds an M.F.A. and is a Ph.D. candidate in
American Studies at the University at Buffalo, specializing in theatre and film.
He is an award-winning artist working as a director, actor, dramaturg,
producer, playwright, and poet. He has recently completed a Fulbright Senior
Scholars project at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz State Theatre Academy,
Department of Puppetry and Directing in Bialystok, Poland.
95
Photo Credits
Andy Wclrhol's Last Love. Pig. Child. Fire!. L-train to Eldorado. and
Mr. Dead & Mrs. Free
Photos courtesy of Squat Theatre
Eye on the S,varrow
Photos courtesy of Mojca Makovac
Wclde in the Wclter
Photos courtesy of Erich Bussing
.Lost Forest
Photos courtesy of Ian McMahan
Rena Mirecka and Zygmunt Molik
Photo courtesy of British Grotowski Project
Boris Nikolayevich Lubimov
Photo courtesy of Maria Ignatieva
International Theatre Festival. Romania
Photos courtesy of UNESCO Chair of Theatre-IT!
Sergei Paradzhanov
Photo courtesy of Rory Finnin
Bucharest Calling and The Sunshine Play
Photos courtesy of Monday Theatre at Green Hours, Bucharest,
and Romanian Cultural Institute in New York
The Teweler's Shop
Photos courtesy of Storm Theatre
!ohannes Dokchtor raust A Petrijjing Puppet Comecjye
Photos courtesy of Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre
96
Slavic and East European Peiformance Vol. 28, No. 1
MARTIN E. SEGAL THEATRE CENTER PUBLICATIONS
roMANIA After 2000
Edited by Saviana Stanescu and Daniel Gerould.
Translation editors: Saviana Stanescu and Ruth Margraff.
This volume represents the first
anthology of new Romanian
Drama published in the United
States and introduces American
readers to compelling play-
wrights and plays that address
resonant issues of a post-totali-
tarian society on its way toward
democracy and a new European
identity. includes the plays:
Stop The Tempo by Gianina
Carbunariu, Romania. Kiss Me!
by Bogdan Georgescu, Vitamins
by Vera I on, Romania 21 by
~ t e f n Peca and Waxing West by Saviana Stanescu.
This publication produced in collaboration with the Romanian
Cultural Institute in New York and Bucharest.
Price US$2o.oo plus shipping ($3 within the USA, $6 international)
Please make payments in US dollars payable to :Martin E. Segal Theatre Center.
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MARTIN E. SEGAL THEATRE CENTER PUBLICATIONS
Four Plays From North Africa
Translated and edited by Marvin Carlson

......... -.--... -..
........... ,.._,.,.,...._
--.. ---- ........
... ,_ ........... ---
This volume contains four modern plays from the
Maghreb: Abdelkader Alloula's The Veil and Fatima
Gallaire's House of Wives, both Algerian, )ulila Baccar's
Araber/in from Tunisia, and Tayeb Saddiki's The Folies Ber-
bers from Morocco.
As the rich tradition of modern Arabic theatre has recently
begun to be recognized by the Western theatre community,
an important area within that tradition is still under-repre-
sented in existing anthologies and scholarship. That is the
drama from the Northwest of Africa, the region known in
Arabic as the Maghreb.
The Arab Oedipus
Edited by Marvin Carlson
This volume contains four plays based on the Oedipus leg-
end by four leading dramatists of the Arab world. Tawfiq
AI-Hakim's King Oedipus, Ali Ahmed Bakathir's The
Tragedy of Oedipus, Ali Salim's The Comedy of Oedipus
and Walid lkhlasi's Oedipus as well as AI-Hakim's preface
to his Oedipus on the subject of Arabic tragedy, a preface
on translating Bakathir by Dalia Basiouny, and a general
introduction by the editor.
An awareness of the rich tradition of modern Arabic the-
atre has only recently begun to be felt by the Western the-
atre community, and we hope that this collection will con-
tribute to that growing awareness.
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MARTIN E. SEGAL THEATRE CENTER PUBLICATIONS
The Heirs of Moliere
Translated and Edited by Marvin Carlson
':a---"-....... ......_
,_._ .... ---=-

This volume contains four representative French comedies of
the period from the death of Moliere to the French Revolution:
The Absent-Minded Lover by Regnard, The Con-
ceited Count by Philippe Nericault Destouches, The Fashion-
able Prejudice by Pierre Nivelle de Ia Chaussee, and The Friend
of the Laws by Jean-Louis Laya.
Translated in a poetic form that seeks to capture the wit and
spirit of the originals, these four plays suggest something of
the range of the Moliere inheritance, from comedy of charac-
ter through the highly popular sentimental comedy of the
mid-eighteenth century, to comedy that employs the Moliere tradition for more con-
temporary political ends.
Pixerecourt: Four Melodramas
Translated and Edited by Daniel Gerould & Marvin Carlson
This volume contains four of Pixerecourt's most important
melodramas: The Ruins of Babylon or }afar and Zaida, The
Dog of Montargis or The Forest of Bondy, Christopher Colum-
bus or The Discovery of the New World, and Alice or The Scot-
tish Gravediggers, as well as Charles Nodier's
"Introduction" to the 1843 Collected Edition of Pixerecourt's
plays and the two theoretical essays by the playwright,
"Melodrama," and "Final Reflections on Melodrama."
Pixerecourt furnished the Theatre of Marvels with its most
stunning effects, and brought the classic situations of fair-
ground comedy up-to-date. He determined the structure of
a popular theatre which was to last through the 19th centu-
ry. Hannah Winter, The Theatre of Marvels
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MARTIN E. SEGAL THEATRE CENTER PUBLICATIONS
Theatre Research Resources in New York City
Sixth Edition, 2007
Editor: Jessica Brater, Senior Editor: Marvin Carlson
, , ., Y fn
,... __ _
-
Theatre Research Resources in New York City is the most
comprehensive catalogue of New York City research
facilities available to theatre scholars. Within the
indexed volume, each facility is briefly described includ
ing an outline of its holdings and practical matters such
as hours of operation. Most entries include electronic
contact information and web sites. The listings are
grouped as follows: Libraries, Museums, and Historical
Societies; University and College Libraries; Ethnic and
Language Associations; Theatre Companies and Acting
Schools; and Film and Other.
Comedy: A Bibliography
Editor: Meghan Duffy, Senior Editor: Daniel Gerould
This bibliography is intended for scholars, teachers, stu-
dents, artists, and general readers interested in the theo-
ry and practice of comedy. The keenest minds have been
drawn to the debate about the nature of comedy and
attracted to speculation about its theory and practice. For
all lovers of comedy Comedy: A Bibliography is an essen-
tial guide and resource, providing authors, titles, and pub-
lication data for over a thousand books and articles devot-
ed to this most elusive of genres.
. __ ,_ ___ ..._ __ _
~ .. ..._ __ _
Price US$to.oo each plus shipping ($3 within the USA, $6 international)
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MARTIN E. SEGAL THEATRE CENTER PUBLICATIONS
Buenos Aires in Tronslati on
Translated and Edited by Jean Graham-Jones
BAiT epitomizes true international theatrical collabora-
tion, bringing together four of the most important con-
temporary playwrights from Buenos Aires and pairing
them with four cutting-edge US-based directors and
their ensembles.
Plays include: Women Dreamt Horses by Daniel
Veronese; A Kingdom, A Country or a Wasteland, In the
Snow by lola Arias; Ex-Antwone by Federico leon; Panic
by Rafael Spregelburd. BAiT is a Performance Space 122
Production, an initiative of Salon Volcan, with the sup-
port of lnstituto Cervantes and the Consulate General of
Argentina in NewYork.
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Four Works for the Theatre by Hugo Claus
Translated and Edited by David Willinger
Hugo Claus is the foremost contemporary writer of Dutch
language theatre, poetry, and prose. Flemish by birth and
upbringing, Claus is the author of some ninety plays, nov
els, and collections of poetry. He is renowned as an enfant
terrible of the arts throughout Europe. From the time he
was affiliated with the international art group, COBRA, to
his liaison with pornographic film star Silvia Kristel, to the
celebration of his novel, The Sorrow of Belgium, Claus has
careened through a career that is both scandal-ridden
and formidable. Claus takes on all the taboos of his times.
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MARTIN E. SEGAL THEATRE CENTER PUBLICATIONS
Witkiewicz: Seven Plavs
Translated and Edited by Daniel Gerould
SEVEN PLAYS
This volume contains seven of
Witkiewicz's most important
plays: The Pragmatists, Tumor
Brainiowicz, Gyuba/ Wahazar,
lhe Anonymous Work, The Cut-
tlefish, Dainty Shapes and Hairy
Apes, and The Beelzebub
Sonata, as well as two of his the-
oretical essays, "Theoretical
Introduction" and "A Few Words
About the Role of the Actor in the
Theatre of Pure Form."
Witkiewicz ... takes up and continues the vein of dream and
grotesque fantasy exemplified by the late Strindberg or by
Wedekind; his ideas are closely paralleled by those of the surre-
alists and Anton in Artaud which culminated in the masterpieces
of the dramatists of the Absurd . . .. It is high time that this major
playwright should become better known in the English-speaking
world. Martin Esslin
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MARTIN E. SEGAL THEATRE CENTER PUBLICATIONS
Zeami and the No Theatre in the World
Edited by Benito Ortolani and Samuel Leiter
This volume contains the proceedings of the "Zeami
and the No Theatre in the World" symposium, held in
New York City in October 1997, in conjunction with the
"Japanese Theatre in the World" exhibit shown at the
same time at the Japan Society. The book contains an
introduction and fifteen essays, organized into sec-
tions entitled "Zeami's Theories and Aesthetics,"
"Zeami and Drama," and "Zeami and the World."
Contemporary Theatre in Egypt
Edited by Marvin Carlson
This publication includes the transcript of the
February 1999 Symposium on Contemporary
Egyptian Theatre, held at the City University of New
York Graduate Center, as well as three plays by
Egyptian playwrights: The Last Walk by Alfred
Farag, The Absent One by Gamal Maqsoud, and The
Nightmare by Lenin EI-Ramley. It concludes with a
bibliography of English translations and secondary
articles on the theatre in Egypt since 1955.
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