How might the organic link between theatre-making and political action be revitalised? And how might a spontaneous vision of a theatre of and for ordinary people be reignited? Since his political exile from Argentina in 1977, theatre director and producer Horacio Czertok has devoted his life to re-imagining the art of the theatre, taking it out of its comfort zone into places of social conflict such as deprived suburban areas, prisons and mental hospitals, as well as open, public spaces, engaging directly with audiences in a spirit of abiding, carnivalesque, and deeply political theatrical experimentation. Adapting a rigorous Stanislavskian theatrical training to the exigencies of raw, immediate encounters with audiences in marginal and open spaces, Czertok's theatre-making is unique, not only in the kinds of capacities and skills it allows actors to develop, but also in the way it renders the question of political efficacy immanent to the very process of making theatre.
Providing Czertok's own, highly personal account of his trajectory in the global scene of theatre-making over the past half-century, this is a book about the theatre of exile - a theatre of streets, prisons, hospitals, open to direct and unexpected encounters with audiences and their life-experiences.
Photos by Luca Gavagna
List of illustrations Foreword Introductory note Preface - Fahrenheit revisited PART I - THEATRE IN OPEN SPACES A new beginning Ferrara: meeting Antonio Slavich Pedagogy and theatre practice: the group The school of the street Parallel lives A dramaturgy for street theatre From the character to the theme The non-audience of street theatre From non-audience to audience Time robbers A Prussian General at the service of the theatrical arts Strategy and moral strength Boldness Perseverance Surprise Stratagem Concentration of forces in a space Knowing the terrain Communications systems The street as a theatrical place From the city to the touring village: Mir Caravane Quijote! Emigration and theatre PART II - THE EDGE OF THE COIN The third side Theatre workshop and techniques The reasons of the heart Pleasure and creativity Theatre and mental health The shaman in the university Theatre in prison: dignity restored Reading the body like a book The actor: a professional liar? Teacher and pupil - a drama in many acts The humility of the miner The art of observing Observations on observation Baudelaire's "pilot" On the language of the gesture Gesture and mask Organic gesture real gesture The invisible gesture Theatre and magic A look at primordial stupidities Other ways of seeing Magic and everyday life "God laughed, The voice of the wolf Fire PART III - THE METHOD OF EXILE Theatre, storytelling and experience Conflict as a an investigative technique From the everyday to the out-of-the-everyday The legend of the Method From legend to practice: the improvisation exercise Exercise preparation plan From Maria's working diary Individual preparation Working with images The role of remembrance Relationships The social relationship The emotional relationship The ethical-philosophical relationship The environmental relationship The motives: the becauses Characteristics of the request What a because is The secret reason, or the chameleon strategy The reasons for the becauses The urgency in the becauses The curtain The situation: The need for surprise The dynamic of the exercise The activity Attention and concentration: being or doing The ten commandments of the activity The reason for coming The costume The mood Conditions of the mood The doing of the exercise Rules and aims of the game The criticism of the exercise The practice - some examples The subconscious and character Epilogue