1st Edition

Theatre of Exile

ISBN 9781138887091
Published August 6, 2015 by Routledge
164 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

How might the organic link between theatre-making and political action be revitalised? And how might a spontaneous vision of a theatre of and for ordinary people be reignited? Since his political exile from Argentina in 1977, theatre director and producer Horacio Czertok has devoted his life to re-imagining the art of the theatre, taking it out of its comfort zone into places of social conflict such as deprived suburban areas, prisons and mental hospitals, as well as open, public spaces, engaging directly with audiences in a spirit of abiding, carnivalesque, and deeply political theatrical experimentation. Adapting a rigorous Stanislavskian theatrical training to the exigencies of raw, immediate encounters with audiences in marginal and open spaces, Czertok’s theatre-making is unique, not only in the kinds of capacities and skills it allows actors to develop, but also in the way it renders the question of political efficacy immanent to the very process of making theatre.

Providing Czertok’s own, highly personal account of his trajectory in the global scene of theatre-making over the past half-century, this is a book about the theatre of exile – a theatre of streets, prisons, hospitals, open to direct and unexpected encounters with audiences and their life-experiences.

Photos by Luca Gavagna

Table of Contents

List of illustrations


Introductory note

Preface - Fahrenheit revisited


A new beginning

Ferrara: meeting Antonio Slavich

Pedagogy and theatre practice: the group

The school of the street

Parallel lives

A dramaturgy for street theatre

From the character to the theme

The non-audience of street theatre

From non-audience to audience

Time robbers

A Prussian General at the service of the theatrical arts

Strategy and moral strength





Concentration of forces in a space

Knowing the terrain

Communications systems

The street as a theatrical place

From the city to the touring village: Mir Caravane


Emigration and theatre


The third side

Theatre workshop and techniques

The reasons of the heart

Pleasure and creativity

Theatre and mental health

The shaman in the university

Theatre in prison: dignity restored

Reading the body like a book

The actor: a professional liar?

Teacher and pupil – a drama in many acts

The humility of the miner

The art of observing

Observations on observation

Baudelaire's "pilot"

On the language of the gesture

Gesture and mask

Organic gesture real gesture

The invisible gesture

Theatre and magic

A look at primordial stupidities

Other ways of seeing

Magic and everyday life

"God laughed,

The voice of the wolf



Theatre, storytelling and experience

Conflict as a an investigative technique

From the everyday to the out-of-the-everyday

The legend of the Method

From legend to practice: the improvisation exercise

Exercise preparation plan

From Maria's working diary

Individual preparation

Working with images

The role of remembrance


The social relationship

The emotional relationship

The ethical-philosophical relationship

The environmental relationship

The motives: the becauses

Characteristics of the request

What a because is

The secret reason, or the chameleon strategy

The reasons for the becauses

The urgency in the becauses

The curtain

The situation: The need for surprise

The dynamic of the exercise

The activity

Attention and concentration: being or doing

The ten commandments of the activity

The reason for coming

The costume

The mood

Conditions of the mood

The doing of the exercise

Rules and aims of the game

The criticism of the exercise

The practice – some examples

The subconscious and character


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