chapter  4
27 Pages

Poor poor theatre

In her Spring 2004 program notes to Poor Theater, Elizabeth LeCompte, director of the Wooster Group, explained that the show was aimed at her “ancestors” and was “a personal question between me and them.”1 The statement points to the ways that practices of art (in her case theatre) can be conversations across time and can contain energies we might align with historical reenactments such that precedent art, no matter how “live” the event may be or may have been, is never so much “over” or “disappeared” as given to call and response – to (re)composition in transgenerational conversation. Yet LeCompte’s words in this explanatory set of sentences from her own program, under the title “The Director,” are stolen verbatim and unattributed. They are the words of director Jerzy Grotowski, from an essay he published in TDR: The Drama Review in 1987 titled “Tu es le fils de quelqu’un [You are someone’s son],” with some minor alterations as the quote progresses.2