Reflections on the Theatre

Reflections on the Theatre

Reflections on the Theatre

Reflections on the Theatre


One day in the winter of last year Jacques Vautrain came and gave me a commission. It was, he said, to set down on paper some of my reflections about the Theatre. As he wanted these to be handed in at the end of May, and as we were then in January, I promised to obey--given such a distant date-line.

But I was not ha fact able to get down to Vautrain's project until June.

Then some months elapsed between the handing in of the manu&script and the arrival of the proofs, and already I had changed my mind about several things and altered various passages. More time elapsed between my sending back the proofs and receiving the printed book.

By then I had changed again . . . but this time it was too late. "I could not spend all my time tinkering with the text."

Where the theatre is concerned, then, time matters. The theatre is the art of the ephemeral, it is in continual flux: indeed the theatre is the symbol of all those successive deaths that we strew day after day by the wayside.

What we are and what we think to-day differs from what we were and what we thought yesterday while giving no inkling of what we shall be and shall think to-morrow.

If there is a place where we "never bathe twice in the same water" (as Heraclitus said) it is certainly in the theatre.

Change is our function, which is why we cannot be blamed for sometimes thinking differently from our elders, and it is also why we shouldn't be distressed if our juniors already think differently from ourselves.

With the theatre it is always "forward march".

PARIS, September, 1949.

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