Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Posts Tagged ‘Peter Brook

Quote of the Day

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In the last few years, I have tried to use the world as a can opener. I have tried to let the sounds, shapes and attitudes of different parts of the world play on the actor’s organism, in the way that a great role enables him to go beyond his apparent possibilities…If we know where to look we can find it at once, in a stick, a cardboard box, in a broom or a pack of cards.

Peter Brook, The Shifting Point

Written by nevalalee

September 20, 2018 at 7:30 am

The instrument that we are

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Everyone asks, “What exactly do you do?” We call what we are doing “research.” We are trying to discover something, to discover it through what we can make, for other people to take part in. It demands a long, long preparation of the instrument that we are. The question always is: Are we good instruments? For that we have to know: What is the instrument for?

The purpose is to be instruments that can transmit truths which otherwise would remain out of sight. These truths can appear from sources deep inside ourselves or far outside ourselves. Any preparation we do is only part of the complete preparation. The body must be ready and sensitive, but that isn’t all. The voice has to be open and free. The emotions have to be open and free. The intelligence has to be quick. All of these have to be prepared. There are crude vibrations that can come through very easily and fine ones that come through only with difficulty. In each case the life we are looking for means breaking open a series of habits.

Peter Brook, The Shifting Point

Written by nevalalee

September 16, 2017 at 7:30 am

The problem of scenery

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Peter Brook

Nothing is so beautiful as a bare stage: yet its loneliness and its openness is often too strong a statement and it must be enclosed. How? What objects should be put into this great void? The problem is always agonizing. Not too little. Not too much. What is appropriate?

At first I used to think of the stage as a world; I used to believe that our task was to create a place in which the action could naturally unfold…Then it seemed that our task was to provide a machine, a special machine for each play, in which the requirements for each moment appear when wanted, then vanish again.

Now, I believe that as in film the image of a play is continuous and cumulative. The set by itself and the costume by itself have no meaning, no value—one has too often been disappointed by the costume, beautiful at dress parades, that loses its beauty when seen in the sweep of the action—like the beautiful rushes in the cinema, which look far less splendid when placed in the context of the story. I believe today that design means creating possibilities for a continually moving and evolving set of images that need have no consistency, no stability, no architecture, but which spin out of the actors’ themes and play on the audience just at the moment when they unfold.

Peter Brook

Written by nevalalee

April 5, 2015 at 7:30 am

Posted in Quote of the Day, Theater

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