chapter  22
8 Pages

Introduction: Richard Schechner

The Paratheatre and Theatre of Sources phases of Grotowski's work overlap. They indicate two different but related efforts, Paratheatre being the logical extension of the Theatre of Productions and Theatre of Sources pointing to Objective Drama and Art as vehicle. Paratheatre emerged almost seamlessly from Apocalypsis cum figuris. That production had a hard time emerging as a public performance because its underlying action tended toward self-examination and the kind of "meeting" characterizing the Paratheatrical work. Apocalypsis was a production theatre piece desiring to be a paratheatrical work. It went through many months of workshop and a continuous metamorphosis from The Gospels based on the New Testament, to a work incorporating the Grand Inquisitor section of Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov and on to what it finally became. During some performances of Apocalypsis, Grotowski selected a few members of the audience to stay behind - to engage in direct "meetings" with the members of the Laboratory Theatre. These meetings - direct interactions between members of the Laboratory Theatre and former spectators, now participants - were the kernel of what was to become Paratheatre.