A POOR THEATRE OF GROTOWSKI AND COPEAU
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The author of the first Slovak monograph dedicated to the work of art of Jacques Copeau (in print) is in this study dealing with the investigation of the common features in creation of two great personalities of the European Theatre of 20th century. Both considered the status of the theatre where they had been creating non-satisfactory, and both expressed their rather critical attitudes towards it. This appears to be a quite common phenomenon with many theatrical artists, dissatisfaction is perhaps an inherited feature of each young generation. But Copeau together with Grotowski kept the equal positions when manifesting their dissatisfaction through the gesture of leaving. They left, looking for places where they could create, free from having been burdened by problems like the contemporary theatres. The French stayed contented with the left bank of the Seine, in the ward of the students, the cathedral Saint-Sulpice distant from the big boulevards, where he then established his Old Dovecot. And later on, he went even further - to the Burgundian area. The Polish went away from Cracow, from the second and for many also the first most important Polish cultural centre, to the province, a small town of Opole, where after the war the population had been changed and the cultural structures were renewed. Jacques Copeau did not speak in connection with his ambition to effect the shape of the theatre, about the revolution but about its renewal. He and Grotowski had own main goals not to destroy the old, but construct the new. Their seeming withdrawal, departure for suburban areas was in fact the step forward. Grotowski and Copeau succeeded in creating of three completely identical conditions so that they could devote themselves to their mission. First: they created small theatrical groups out of those who remained faithful, exclusively young actors; Second: they found the theatrical halls designed for a smaller sized audience in order not to run too big administration and difficult technical problems (miniature Theatre of 13 Rows in Opole, Laboratory in Market Place in Wroclaw, and Old Dovecot – a rather small theatre hall when compared with other theatres in Paris that was rebuilt and became even smaller); Third: they did not aim only at running the theatre. Grotowski and Copeau thus created - or they both made their best efforts to - a room for laboratory work. The author is dealing in detail mainly with a contribution of both directors towards the revival of a historionic art and its redemption from the layers made by craftsmen.
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