chapter  27
4 Pages

My idea of the theatre: Tadeusz Kantor


One of the symptoms of the prejudice surrounding the new theatre is the old and overused accusation concerning its incomprehensibility, exclusiveness and indifference to social matters. What is ignored is the simple fact that such accusations may result from applying a false strategy to the recognition of a work of art. In this case it is exactly so. The strategy which is used has been inherited from the 19th century, the age of the downfall of arts. The rule applied says that art is an illustration – not of life any longer, but of everyday practices of life and of its superficial anecdote. In this light any artistic production that reaches beyond this thin layer appears to be incomprehensible and strange. I am strongly convinced that only the theatre which is based on the methods of modern thinking and perception has the potential to become the mass theatre, merged with the society. Giving up the pseudo-inquisitive analysis, imagination reaching beyond the limits of everyday experience, metaphors increasing human sensibility, surprising and shocking because of their expressive power – all this creates a sphere of great tension, capable of influencing and convincing a great mass of people.