| Бостон |
American Repertory theater (the «Rep») is changing. Diane Paulus, recently appointed an artistic director sends numerous signals that her powerful agenda may change the American repertory model created by Robert Brustein in the 60s. It is too early too understand whether this change is for the better or for the worse, but it is a rare thrill to watch.
Р. Брустин репетирует «Шесть персонажей в поисках автора» Л. Пиранделло. © 1984 Р. Фелдман.
Игра в карты
Робер Лепаж отказывается от технологий на фестивале Луминато в Торонто

Robert Brustein, a director, actor, critic, and a playwright. A Harvard university Professor and a long-time theater observer of the «New Republic» created and directed during 20 years the American Repertory Theater. Before that he created Yale Repertory theater. He is a designer of a repertory model of the American theater, which considered an academic setting to be a sole place in the USA suitable for practicing non-commercial performance art.

The american repertory theater model was created at the end of 60s as a counter act to the ideology of the Broadway theater. American repertory theater, in contrast to the American underground theater of the time, LaMama and Living Theater, used more «legal» means – academic facilities of the Yale and then Harvard Universities. The Brustein's repertory theater is a professional theater, which is entangled in the everyday life of the university.

Maiya Pramatarova. What is an American repertory theater, what are similarities and differences between it and European models of a repertory theatre?

Robert Brustein. The ideal American Repertory Theatre--which no longer exists in this country--is modelled on Shakespeare's and Moliere's andStanislavski's permanent companies of actors, doing new plays and classics in rotating repertory. Modern companies such as America'sGroup Theatre, Britain's National Theatre and RSC, and Jean Vilar's now defunct Theatre Populaire in France and Ingmar Bergman's inSweden, for example, are modelled on the same principles.

M.P. You studied Group Theatre and wrote and staged a play about Lee Strasberg. These and other phenomena are interpretations of the Stanislavsky method in American theatre. What happened with the idea of the Moscow Art Theatre in the present American theatre?

R.B. As Stella Adler discovered when she went to see Stanislavsky in Paris, Strasberg had seriously distorted his technique by putting toomuch emphasis on emotional memory and private moments. Stella--and other teachers such as Sandy Meisner and Michael Chekhov tried tocorrect these errors. But Strasberg's success in creating movie stars (for whom his technique worked best) obscured the superiorcontributions of others. Ironically, the greatest of these movie stars, Marlon Brando, was Stella's, not Strasberg's, student.

M.P. How the interaction between aesthetic, political and commercial theatres or, in other terms, American repertory theatre, American avant-garde and undergroundtheatre, and Broadway evolved since the 60s, when you became prominent as a theatre creative and critical force. How the American repertory theatre model affected it?

R.B. Broadway and the non-profit theatre movement used to function in separate compartments. When the National Endowment for the Artsfailed in its duty to provide sufficient subsidy for the non-profits, they inevitably took a path similar to the commercial theatre, withmoney rather than art as their ultimate objective.

M.P. What is an ideal theatre for you? Who of the present and past theatrical generations of playwrights, directors, scenographers and actors would work in this theatre?

R.B. The ideal theatre for me, at least in structure and objectives, are the ones I tried to create at Yale and Harvard. It is not for me tosay how well or badly they succeeded. These theatres are designed for modern playwrights such as David Mamet, Samuel Beckett, MarshaNorman, Ronald Ribman, Christopher Durang, Adam Rapp; directors such as Andrei Serban, Robert Wilson, Janos Szasz, Marcus Stern;scenographers such as Derek Maclane, John Conklin, Michael Yeargan, etc.; actors too numerous to mention, but those withn a capacity totransform thermselves from role to role rather than playing the same persona.

M.P. What is an ultimate theatre critic? What are the failures and successes of the American critics?

R.B. Most American theatre critics pass judgment on single productions rather than a theatre's overall work, and where they fail most oftenis in too much opinionating at the expense of intelligent analysis.

M.P. Many Russian directors were invited to work with the Yale and American Repertory theatre troupes: Kama Ginkas, Yuri Eremin, Roman Kozak, Yuri Lyubimov. European directors Dario Fo, Krystian Lupa, Janos Szasz, Andrei Serban extensively worked at these venues. Some, as I know firsthand, cherished this experience as important for their creative development. On your side of the fence, what is the view of their coming to the US? How did it influence the US theatre?

R.B. It gave the American theatre a cosmopolitan flavor, with experience of the wider theatre scene.

M.P. Why almost none of the American directors come to work or teach in Russia, even now, when the logistics of such exchanges has become much easier?

R.B. Perhaps they haven't been invited.

M.P. There is along history of strong, natural ties between the US and British theatres, which encompasses classic, as well as modern authors, moderndirectors and actors. Given a strong interest of American theatre to the Russian theatrical world (Stanislavski, Chekhov, the legacy of theMoscow Art Theatre, which now has a joint school with Harvard), it is surprising to see that there is no significant modern Russian drama's penetration of the American soil. Likewise, the modern American drama also is a very rare guest on the Russian stage. What are the reasons of this peculiar lack of mutual attention?[in parentheses I would like to bring up an interesting case of Coast of Utopia, brilliantly covered by you in New Republic, which represents one way of bridging the gap - it took a British modern playwright using Western academics to bring a representation of the roots of modern Russian thought to a notable success on Broadway]

R.B. I would blame that on a failure of communication. There is not sufficient interfacing between Russian and American theatre, despitethe efforts of the ART/MHAT Institute.

... I was in Boston, now I am in Pittsburg. I am teaching directing and acting. America is another planet, another civilization. I suspect that the myth of similarity betweent americans and russians was born after a good portion of wisky or vodka. Different cultural traditions, customs, psychology. Our art is born out of pain and commotion. Here, stability and prosperity are a matter of pride. A different view on everything: state, money, police, history, sex and marriage... Americans as well as Russians are lacking self-irony. Perhaps, this is what we have in common?
Adolph Shapiro, Russian director. «How the curtain fell».

M.P. You write in one of your books that theatre is an adequate tool to look at the society. As a critic you wrote extensively on the state of thesociety in this country from this point of view. How do you see American society's transformation during your theatrical career? How successful was "theatre of guilt" and "theatre of revolt" in influencing this transformation?

R.B.I think the theatre of guilt had a much bigger influence on American theatre than the theatre of revolt.

M.P. ART recently acquired a new artistic director, Diane Paulus, who was very successful off and on Broadway. It seems that she may have discovered her own model of an American theatre. She already proposed a bold new repertory for the coming season and made some significant changes in the theatre. What do you think this means for ART, and for the codes of the American repertory theatre in general?

R.B. It means significant change, and I wish her the best of luck.

«The Donkey Show» directed by Diane Paulus (Donkey Show in Mexico is an public entertainment, now almost instinct, in which a woman performs a sexual act with a donkey). Diane Paulus submits it that this has some similarity to what is happening in the Shakespearean play: Titania, the queen of elves and fairies falls in love with a donkey, bewitched by the magic flower juice. Theater performance recreates the atmosphere of "Studio 54", in which the audience and the actors are immersed in time and space of the disco music and light. This is the space, in which there are no boundaries of age, gender and race, no boundaries that can not be crossed. The democracy of the disco culture allows Diane Paulus to link it with the aesthetics of the Shakespearean play. Prankster Peck crosses the space a with masterly ease on roller skates (recall the Anatolyi Efros' desire to put Peck on rollers) and draws the performers and the audience into a single entity having fun on the dance floor. It is said of Diane Paulus that she is very deep and intelligent in reading the drama, and at the same time she is very populist. This production, as well as her «The Best of Both Worlds» («Winter's Tale» in the style of gospel), together with the reading of the new play by Robert Brustein «Deadly terrorism» form a festival of the American Repertory Theater, inspired by the life of Shakespeare and his works. With this festival, Diane Paulus claims a new territory for the American Repertory Theater, at the same time, showing where she comes from and where she wants to take the «Rep».
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Пятница, 15 Февраля 2019
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