Towards a Third Theatre: Eugenio Barba and the Odin Teatret

Towards a Third Theatre: Eugenio Barba and the Odin Teatret

Towards a Third Theatre: Eugenio Barba and the Odin Teatret

Towards a Third Theatre: Eugenio Barba and the Odin Teatret

Synopsis

Eugenio Barba is one of Europe's leading theatre directors, at the forefront of experimental and group theatre for more than twenty years. Ian Watson provides the most comprehensive and systematic study of Barba's work, including his training methods, dramaturgy, productions and theories, as well as his work at the International School of Theatre Anthropology.

Excerpt

Eugenio Barba is one of Europe's leading theatre directors, theoreticians, and researchers and is considered, along with Bertolt Brecht and Jerzy Grotowski, one of the major influences on modern Latin American theatre (Peirano, 1987:10-13). Despite this prominence on two continents, there is no major study of Barba's work in English. In fact, even though there are several fine books on aspects of his work in Italian and Danish, there is no comprehensive study of his work in any language. This book is intended to address the oversight.

A major part of my research for this study was conducted β€œin the field.” I followed Barba and his Odin colleagues closely from the latter part of rehearsals for Oxyrhincus Evangeliet in the summer of 1985 through until the group stopped performing the piece and took a six months' break prior to beginning rehearsals for their new production, Talabot, in early 1988. During that time I visited the Holstebro headquarters of the Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium twice, where I observed training and rehearsals, interviewed Barba and his actors, and spent time in the Odin archive, which contains reviews, programs, and articles about the group's work, as well as a comprehensive film and video library that has many films and tapes on the group's work and on the work of those who have influenced them.

I returned once more to Holstebro, in 1991, to complete the last part of my research.

Part of my initial field work involved touring with the company several times in Europe (in Denmark and Yugoslavia), and accompanying them on parts of two Latin American tours, the first to Uruguay and Argentina in 1987, the second to Peru in 1988.

Both of these Latin American tours included third theatre gatherings which I also attended, the 1987 gathering in Bahia Blanca, Argentina, and the 1988 Peruvian meeting in Chaclacayo. As well as these meetings, I have attended three of the International School of Theatre Anthropology sessions mounted by Barba since 1985, the Holstebro congress in 1986, the 1987 meeting in Salento, Italy, and the session in Bologna, Italy, in 1990.

Even though the studies of Barba's work by scholars such as Ferdinando

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