Magazine article The New Yorker

Giving Direction

Magazine article The New Yorker

Giving Direction

Article excerpt

Margaret Croyden's Conversations with Peter Brook, 1970-2000 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) addresses the work of the man who's been called "the most important contemporary theatre director in the West." When Brook founded the International Center of Theatre Research, in Paris in 1970, he wanted a theatre company "that would offer a fusion of cultures, temperaments, styles, and backgrounds." The Center's highly experimental projects have included a nine-hour production of "The Mahabharata" and "Orghast," a treatment of the Prometheus myth performed amid the ruins of Persepolis in an incomprehensible language invented by Ted Hughes. Brook insists that he has "never believed in any theatre sect, any theatre line, or any theatre theory whatsoever," but he remains uncompromising in his view of what theatre should be: "The theatre is there as food for higher perceptions. It's through the theatre that the faculty for perceiving more vividly can be matched. …

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