European Association for Theatre Culture EATC
Artistic Direction: Dr. Jurij Alschitz
... a sound approaches from far off – it passes by close enough to touch. Ungraspable…
So you wait for the next one. It just refuses to come. The seeds of doubt take root.
Did the first one even exist ?
Have you ever had this experience ?
Or think of a dream – crystal clear and living images before your very eyes – but by morning you will have forgotten them. Should you try to keep hold of a dream? It is dark, you rush to your desk, search round for a scrap of paper and a pencil, make sure you get down all the details – and satisfied, you fall back asleep. In the morning, when you read it through, nothing remains – just a page of eroded fantasy.
Last night in the theatre – what did we see? what did we play? what did we know yesterday about theatre and about the actor’s art? And today? We realise, if we are honest with ourselves, that we must doubt even what we think we know.
Yesterday we seemed to know. Today we realize: this knowledge no longer has any value; indeed it is perhaps something we did not even ourselves acquire. We hold fast for the moment to a very slender certainty – but it is not the certainty we enjoyed yesterday nor will it be the same tomorrow. Everything we acquired yesterday in the theatre, with great effort, today no longer belongs to us. We have to start all over again from the beginning . . . . .
It is not the actor who performs an exercise – it is the exercise that forms the actor.
If one sees training and text analysis as the actor’s own autonomous preparation, if the actor does not simply carry out an exercise – but the exercise actually shapes him, if, subsequently, the familiar frontiers between exercise and scene, rehearsal and performance, school and theatre, pedagogy and direction, are all cleared away and all these processes, in practice kept separate from one another, are united in one whole, then, here, one enters unknown terrain.
In the search for the basic principles that define the actor’s art, the central question of research is how the actor develops the ability of expression, each time in a new and individual way, and how the experience of a really creative process can be summoned up, both for the individual artist and for the ensemble. From within this creative freedom emerge the authenticity and uniqueness of acting, at a far remove from cliché or imitation, and permitting the actor to grow above and beyond his craft. The actor becomes a genuine creator and thus himself the author of his role. In this sense, work in the theatre is the continuous, never-ending growth of one’s own artistic self.
To initiate, to promote, and to accompany this process, one needs a systematic and methodical line in acting pedagogy and in research into its fundamental principles.
If one wishes to change the situation in the theatre, one must first change the part played by teaching – because it is after all teaching that defines the theatre’s future.
European Association for Theatre Culture EATC
The European Association for Theatre Culture (EATC) links together the international theatre centres AKT-ZENT (Germany), KOINE (France), PROTEI (Italy), and SCUT (Scandinavia). It was founded in 1995, under the artistic direction of Jurij Alschitz, to provide a framework for continuous learning, experiment, and research.
In 2006, AKT-ZENT was designated Research Centre of the Theatre Education & Training Committee ITI/UNESCO (International Theatre Institute).
The EATC is an unusual network – namely a network of ideas – with the shared objective of acquiring, accumulating, and disseminating knowledge and theatre expertise. Over the last years the “Team Teaching” model that has been developed is unique in Europe. Thanks to the European ensemble of teachers, EATC can teach a self-enclosed pedagogic system in a fully multi-lingual environment; thus putting the theoretical quest for a European theatrical language into real practice specifically bringing together Russian and various western European theatre cultures.
In various European countries master classes and seminars are held with the objective of exploring and imparting methodological principles. This learning process develops into research work on specific themes and laboratories where actors and pedagogues are free to experiment in peace. This research work in turn develops into performances, publications, and work modules to bring new insight into acting methods. With ARS INCOGNITA, the association has its own series of publications, printing teaching and research results.
EATC European Association for Theatre Culture
c/o AKT-ZENT International Theatre Centre Berlin
D-10997 Berlin, Germany
Tel/Fax: +49 – 30 -61287274