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A History of the Theatre Laboratory


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The term `theatre laboratory' appears across a series of interconnected practices, territories, pedagogies and ideologies. Bryan Brown seeks to properly address this contested phrase, and to position it within a wider history of laboratory studies. A History of the Theatre Laboratory traces the organizational structures of creativity, finding two distinct archetypes present across theatre, the sciences, and visual art. These strands, rooted in Russian culture and history, are examined in a series of interviews with, and studies of, contemporary practitioners including Slava Polunin, Anatoli Vassiliev, Sergei Zhenovach and Dmitry Krymov. Drawing upon texts and practitioners little known in the English language, as well as upon the wider field of laboratory studies, this volume presents a thoroughly historicized understanding of theatre laboratories and their use in contemporary practice.
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Table of Contents

Introduction The Phenomenon of the Theatre Laboratory The Two Archetypes Historical (Mis)Conceptions Laboratory Studies The Laboratory and The School Guiding Frameworks The Framework of Lines The Petersburg Ecology Arrangement of the Thesis Part One: The Studio Etymology, Analogues, & Historical (Mis)Conceptions Cobra, a future origin The Copenhagen Spirit Historical (Mis)Conceptions Manifestations The Visionary Philosophy of Leopold Sulerzhitsky The Holidays of Slava Polunin and Licedei As Important as Blood and Shelter: the Theatre Art Studio Radi Chego? (For What?) Part Two: The Masterskaya Etymology, Analogues, & Historical (Mis)Conceptions Rembrandt: the Master as Auteur The Contradictory Positions of Thomas Edison and his Invention Factory Historical (Mis)Conceptions Manifestations The Visionary Authority of Vsevolod Meyerhold I Need Them to Fear Me: Anatoli Vassiliev and the School of Dramatic Art The Laboratory of Dmitry Krymov: A Post-masterskaya Masterskaya? Radi Chego? (For What?) Conclusion The Two Archetypes of the Russian Theatre Laboratory Elaboration of the Archetypes: Two Postscripts The Studiinost' of the Polish Teatr Laboratorium The Masterskiinost' of Jerzy Grotowski List of Abbreviations Appendix: A Chronology of Experimental Epistemology

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