Letter to SITI Conservatory

Will Bond's picture

This week marks an exciting new adventure for SITI company.  Artists from all over the world have committed to spending almost an entire year of their lives to participate in the first year of our SITI conservatory.  The company has hosted training sessions lasting from 5 weeks to 1 week all over the planet, but now we get to spend real time with the artists and together create a program dedicated to Listening, Speaking, Moving, Writing, and Creating.  Somehow I want to reach out to them and celebrate.  Next month, October, the Routledge Press is putting out a new book entitled, The Routledge Companion to Stanislavsky.  I am lucky enough to have been able to contribute a chapter that is supposed to be maybe an introduction to my relationship to Stanislavsky over the years of my career.  Many exciting artists have contributed their own chapters.  But, given the number of pages I was allowed, some of what I had to say was necessarily left out.  As a way of reaching out to the company and to the artists joining SITI for the year I thought I’d post this one short story that expresses not only the theme of the book, but my relationship to SITI, and now to my extended family in our new conservatory.

What's the Story

Anne Bogart's picture

I am writing today in West Fulton, New York in the heart of the Catskill Mountains. I am close to finishing a new book of essays entitled What’s the Story.  The book is made up of eleven chapters, each with a one-word title:

SITIParis2013 #3

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SITIParis2013 #2 Ellen&Bondo

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SITIParis2013 a daily Ellen&Bondo

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Chaos

Anne Bogart's picture

Our capacity to tolerate error depends upon our capacity to tolerate emotion.
(Irna Gadd)

In 1974 I moved to New York City with the dream of making a life in the theater but first I had to find gainful employment to support my passions.  Here are some of my many day jobs:  Collecting overdue payments from the clients of a bottled water company, teaching theater to adolescents at the United Nations International School after-school program, analyzing expenses for a Wall Street brokerage firm and leading theater workshops in a halfway house for schizophrenics. Each job provided a window into a particular social, political or economic world. Each window taught me valuable lessons about how to be a better theater director.  I mostly learned through my own errors. After many mistakes of presumption and conjecture, I eventually learned to abandon my own carefully premeditated plans, slow down and listen, really listen to what was happening, and then adjust. I learned the necessity of giving up control in order to ride the wave that was already in motion.

this is a trailer for A RITE

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#ARite daily #3 final reh. before Bard Summer Scape

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A Rite rehearsal for Bard Summer Scape

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Heat

Anne Bogart's picture

Successful theater requires a combination of technique, content and passion.  Like a three legged milking stool, if one of the legs is missing, the entire enterprise collapses.  No one cares about the content of an endeavor without the ingredient of the artist’s requisite passion for the material as well as the craft or technique to express it articulately.  Similarly, without having something to say and a point of view, neither passion nor technique is sufficient. 

What is passion and how can it be cultivated?  Brazilian theater director Augusto Boal, inspired by the ideas of Lope de Vega, insisted that, “Theatre is the passionate combat of two human beings on a platform.” He proposed that passion is a feeling for someone or something, or an idea that we prize more highly than our own life.  Clearly Mr. Boal was a passionate Latin American with high ideals.

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