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Peter Brook - Resourse Pack
 

Peter Brook - Resourse Pack

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  • Biography of Peter Brook (1925 - ) Cover Slide: Peter Brook ‘ For a long while, within our theatre work, I have been searching for a common ground that could involve the spectator directly...whatever the social and national barriers, we all have a brain and we think we know it.’

Peter Brook - Resourse Pack Peter Brook - Resourse Pack Presentation Transcript

  • Director, Playwright, Producer, Screenwriter, Stage Designer, Author, Composer and Editor. His life and work. By Katie French, Vesna Golubovic, Hannah Gray and Kathryn Gray ‘ For a long while, within our theatre work, I have been searching for a common ground that could involve the spectator directly...whatever the social and national barriers, we all have a brain and we think we know it. ’ Peter Brook.
    • Peter Stephen Paul Brook.
    • Born on the 21 st March 1925.
    • Born in the suburbs of London.
    • Son of Jewish immigrants from Latvia.
    • Educated at Westminster and Magdalen College at Oxford University.
    By Katie French, Vesna Golubovic, Hannah Gray and Kathryn Gray
    • His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised.
    By Katie French, Vesna Golubovic, Hannah Gray and Kathryn Gray
    • Brook, a precocious child with distaste for formal education but a love of learning, was attracted to both theatre and film from his youth. So much so that at the age of seven Brook performed his own four-hour long version of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ for his family, with himself playing all the roles.
    • Peter Brook began his career with an amateur feature length film ‘The Sentimental Journey’ in 1943 and went on to craft training films for the British Army in the last years of WWII.
    • After spending two years in Switzerland, Brook became one of the youngest undergraduates at Oxford University, at the same time as writing scripts for television commercials. London audiences were introduced through his first professional stage production, Marlowe’s ‘Dr. Faustus’.
    • Brook did his first production at Stratford Theatre, one of the world most prestigious stages at the age of 21. The play was Shakespeare’s ‘Loves Labours Lost’ . He spent the next several years staging acclaimed productions, working at the Covent Garden directing opera, as well as designing the sets and costumes for his productions. Seeking innovations and styles which would make his productions speak to modern audiences.
    • He ended this experience with Opera by calling it ‘Deadly Theatre’. The first professional assignment as a Screen Director came with John Gay’s energetic adaption of ‘The Beggar’s Opera’ in 1953. With prominent actors such as Laurence Olivier and Paul Schofield in ‘King Lear’ .
    His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised.
    • His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
    By Katie French, Vesna Golubovic, Hannah Gray and Kathryn Gray
    • In 1962 he was appointed as one of the directors of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a position that was held for two decades. This allowed Brook to continue to seek alternative ways to create vibrant, meaningful theatre, this search lead him to direct a season of experimental theatre with the Royal Shakespeare Company where he was free from commercial constraints. The season was called ‘Theatre Cruelty’ in the search to find ‘Holy Theatre’.
    •  
    • Brook earned international acclaim when he directed the1963 Peter Shaffer adaption of ‘Lord of the Flies’.
    • The most notable productions to come out of the ‘Holy Theatre’ experiment were the landmark 1964 productions, ‘The Screens’ by Genet’s, and Peter Weiss’ ‘Marat Sade’ in which actors transformed themselves into the inmates of the mental asylum at Charenton. Apparently so believable that the audiences were too stunned and terrified to applaud.
    • In 1965 Brook was appointed a CBE and then won Broadway’s Tony Award twice as Best Director (Dramatic): in 1966 for ‘Marat Sade’.
    • In 1966 he developed ‘Us’ , a play about the Vietnam experience and the horrors of war, The production reflected a collective statement by all the artists involved and was certainly a departure from traditional theatre. In this time period, Brook also did an adaption of Seneca’s ‘Oedipus’ by Ted Hughes, a poet that continued to work with Brook for many years.
    • During 1968 Brook directed a drama documentary in Britain called ‘Tell Me Lies’ , about British anti-Vietnam War sentiment in the late ‘60s.
    His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
  • By Katie French, Vesna Golubovic, Hannah Gray and Kathryn Gray His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
    • The culmination of this phase of work was his production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in 1970. This production was created using less than traditional techniques such as trapezes, juggling and circus effects, Brook and his actors created a sense of magic, joy and celebration. These recent productions galvanized theatre audiences and practitioners alike, cementing the reputation of the newly founded Royal Shakespeare Company.
    • In 1971 Brook won Broadway’s Tony Award as Best Director (Dramatic) for Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’
    • After this highly successful production, Brook made a seemingly radical departure from British film and theatre though ‘It was almost inevitable given Brook’s disaffection with British theatre’. However Brook went to Paris and in 1971 founded the International Centre for Theatre Research (C.I.R.T), which in turn became the International Centre for Theatre Creations (CI.C.T).
    • The C.I.R.T was created as a laboratory to investigate the very nature of theatre, a place to find a new form of theatre that could speak to people worldwide, theatre that was truly universal. An environment of unlimited rehearsal time to allow for deep search-of-self for all involved.
    • The first production that came from the company was an original ritualistic work, ‘Orghast’ for the Shiraz festival in Iran 1971. This employed a new language based on sound development by Ted Hughes. This production, performed at the ruins of Persepolis in Persia, used actors of different cultures. The new language was used to find the common experience of us all.
    • Brook became even more experimental; becoming obsessed with racism and became even more so with black actors as he thought their ‘simplicity and ruthlessness’ was incredible.
    His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
  • By Katie French, Vesna Golubovic, Hannah Gray and Kathryn Gray His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
    • In 1972 and 1973 the group travelled across the Sahara and then extended the journey to other parts of Africa with the ‘Conference of the Birds’ project, where they performed in each village, learning the ancient rituals each had acquired.
    • Brook directed the second of his documentaries in Britain in 1979, this being ‘Meeting with Remarkable Men’ , the story of Gurdjieff, an Asian Mystic. Since the making of this film Brook continued his filmmaking career in France.
    • In 1984 Brook was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Special Award (season 1983) for his services to theatre. He then went on to receive the 1988 London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama Theatre Award) for Best Director for ‘The Mahabharata.’
    • During the 1980’s and 1990’s Brook saw a variety of his productions being staged throughout Europe and America. A few of these being ‘The Cherry Orchard’ , first in Paris in 1981 and then in New York in 1981. ‘Tchin, Tchin’ in 1984, ‘Qui Est La’ in 1996, ‘The Director Who...’ in 1996 and ‘The Man Who...’ in 1996.
    • ‘ Qui Est La’ was a reinterpretation of ‘Hamlet’ that was staged in Paris, but as ever Brooks choices were anything but traditional. With characters delivering speeches in Japanese. The overall play was not a complete ‘Hamlet’ but a combination of Shakespeare’s and Brook’s dialogue about theatre.
    • Brook was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award: The Times Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre in 1994 (season 1993), and was appointed an officer of the legion of Honour in 195.
    His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
    • Brook never relied on traditional approaches in his work, as ‘The Man Who...’ in 1996, relied heavily on theory. Brooks objective was to transcend what separates all people, whether culturally or intellectually and find a common language within the context of the play.
    • Brook proceeded into the exploration of this little known area of the theatre. He believed that traditional theatre had lost it’s meaning, and his journey was to learn about his own barriers and his own deceptions and to face them. He wanted to discover the soul.
    His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
    • His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
    By Katie French, Vesna Golubovic, Hannah Gray and Kathryn Gray His Impact on Theatre and Film
    • ‘ The Genius who managed to bring what was classical or establishment to a new life by his intense awareness of what innovation could do.’
    •  
    • ‘ Peter Brook’s friend Peter Hall believes him to be ‘the leading director of his generation.’
    • According to Charles Marowitz, Brooks assistant, the large phallic pillar that dominated the stage was a ‘symbol of the directors sense of his own power, though perhaps of not much else.’
    • One of Brooks youngest admirers, Mick Gordon who recently ran London’s Gate theatre describes Brook to be ‘religiously private.’ Although easily accessible Brook extraordinarily mysterious.
    • His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
    By Katie French, Vesna Golubovic, Hannah Gray and Kathryn Gray His Impact on Theatre and Film
    • Peter’s writings on theatre, particularly his well known book ‘The Empty Space’ have gained great status.
    • Brook wanted the theatre to be more that a moving amusement he wanted it to be ‘a door on the infinite.’
    • His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
    By Katie French, Vesna Golubovic, Hannah Gray and Kathryn Gray His Influences
    • Antonin Artaud. Brook was influenced by Artaud’s ideas of ‘theatre of Cruelty’ The theatre of cruelty is a idea in Artaud’s book ‘Theatre and it’s double.’ ‘Without the element at the route of every spectacle, the theatre is not possible. Artaud didn’t mean cruelty in the sense of pain or violence but instead the cruelty it takes for the actor to completely trip away their masks to show the audience the truth. In England at the Royal Shakespeare Company Charles Marowitz and Peter Brook
    • In the theatre of cruelty Artuad was trying to revolutionise theatre – rebuild theatre in a new experimental way, as though it never existed.
    • Only the director who seeks to truly interpret drama and commit to training in all aspects of dramatic art can resolve the ‘Art of the theatre.’ Craig 1911. Edward Gordan Craigs idea of using neutral, non-representational screens as sets on stage is probably his most famous concept. The idea was used in his design for Hamlet. Craig also had big iseas when it came to lighting. He did away with traditional footlights and lit the stagefrom above. Colour and light also became central to Craigs ideas.
    • Bertolt Bretch and Jan Kott influenced Brook with their dark vision of Polish Shakespeare. A film shot in Denmark made use of graining black and white cinematography, unconventional use of camera angles and editing.
    His Influences His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
    • His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
    By Katie French, Vesna Golubovic, Hannah Gray and Kathryn Gray “ tradition itself in times of dogmatism and dogmatic revolution, Is a revolutionary force which must be safe guarded” Peter Brook “ Dogma; A belief held by a religion, ideology or any kind of organization that is thought to be authoritive And not to be disputed or doubted. Outside of religion its usage is referred to concepts as being “established” only according to a Particular point of view. oxford dictionary Problems raised by his work
    • His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
    By Katie French, Vesna Golubovic, Hannah Gray and Kathryn Gray “ if Theatre springs from life, then life itself must be questioned” Peter Brook “ understanding theatrical reality also entails understanding The agents of that reality” Peter Brook Problems raised by his work
    • His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
    By Katie French, Vesna Golubovic, Hannah Gray and Kathryn Gray Throughout his career Peter Brook has always been intrigued by the meaning of theatre, he had his own interpretations of what the term means, and believed differently from others. In the 1970’s Brook along with the writer Jean- claude carriere began to make the Indian epic poem into a play, the book was called Mahabharata it was first performed in 1985. In the production Brook used international cast this caused intercultural debate “ was not a portrayal of a titanic clash between the forces of good and evil, Which is the stuff of the epic… [but] the story of the warning progeny Of some rustic landlord” This negative criticism came from the Indian scholar Pradip Bhattacharya. Problems raised by his work
    • His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
    By Katie French, Vesna Golubovic, Hannah Gray and Kathryn Gray Brooks was a dogmatic person with firm beliefs who rejected `proper expert knowledge` He was not able to reason with people because of this. Brook’s study into theatre led him to investigate tradition in many of his plays such as Tierno Bokar, it was based on the life of the Malian Sufi. The book and also the play are specifically about Bokar’s life and a message of religious and spirit of tolerance. “ understanding theatrical reality also entails understanding The agents of that reality” Meaning; that to understand theatre you must understand that it develops from real life events, traditions and that there is more to it than just a made up storyline. Problems raised by his work This negative criticism came from the Indian scholar Pradip Bhattacharya.
    • His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
    By Katie French, Vesna Golubovic, Hannah Gray and Kathryn Gray Author Unknown. Bookrags. Peter Brook from Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2005 – 2006. (Peter Brook biography). [Online] http:// www.bookrags.com /biography/Peter-Brook Peacham. Nina Soufy. International Movie Database Inc. 1990-2007 Biography for Peter Brook [Online] http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0111656/bio Author Unknown. AEC One Stop Group, Inc. (Yahoo Movies) 2007 [Online] http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800085583/bio Erik Hedling. Reference Guide to British and Irish Film Directors (BFI screenonline 2003-07) [Online] http://www.screenonline.org.uk/people/id/471253/indx.html Arnold Aronson. International Herald Tribune 25/05/2005 (Peter Brook: A Biography by Michael Kustow) [Online] http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/05/24/features/bookwed.php
    • His life, work, ideas, practises, influences and problems his work raised
    By Katie French, Vesna Golubovic, Hannah Gray and Kathryn Gray Peter Brook. Ernest Jones Lecture 13/06/1994 (Published in the British Phycho-Analytical Society Bulletin, Vol.34, No.1 London, 1998) [Online] http://nico.club.fr/ciret/bullitin/b15/b15cl.html Richard Proudfoot Peter Brook and Shakespeare (printed in Themes in Drama) [Online] http:// www.alanhoward.org.uk/anlceobrook.html Multiple Authors. Peter Brook and the Royal Shakespeare Company 1946-1978 [Online] http:// members.aol.com/extralinks/pb/prsc.html The Age Company Ltd. 2005 Peter Brook-Reviews-Books-Entertainment-theage.com.au [Online] http://www.theage.com.au/news/reviews/peter-brook/2005/06/17/1118869081282.html Brook P. 1998. Threads Of Time, A Memoir. Published by Methuen Drama. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Wikipedia [Online] http:// enwikipedia.org/wiki/peter_brook