This is the first book to integrate practical description and theoretical analysis of the recent work of Jerzy Grotowski, the founder of Objective Drama and one of the most radical and dynamic theatre directors and performance theorists of the twentieth century.
Grotowski states that Objective Drama incorporates "those elements of the ancient rituals of various world cultures which have a precise and therefore objective impact on participants."
First known for his legendary productions with the Teatr Laboratorium in Wroclaw, Poland, Grotowski abandoned his career as a stage director at the height of his international renown. He embarked on multifaceted research that carried him away from theatre and toward its cultural intersection with performance, ritual studies, and anthropology. His experimental research coalesced as Objective Drama, his longterm program at the University of California-Irvine.
For more than seven years Lisa Wolford, the author of this study, has been closely associated with Grotowski both as a writer and as an active participant in Objective Drama. Here, as she details the practical, performing structures that originated in his workshops, she reveals the uniquely Grotowskian forms that emerged.
Her focus is upon Grotowski's development of performances based on songs of American Shakers, the short stories of Hawthorne, and Haitian rituals.
She discusses also his influence on director James Slowiak, particularly Slowiak's performances evolving from indigenous American materials.
Because it brings attention to the recent work of this titan theorist and director this volume is of great importance to performers, directors, and all who are interested in the history of theatre and performance.