Friday, April 18, 2014

anti theater 1

If you've ever been for a night out to the theatre when all you can remember is the bar afterwards, then New Theatre's anti theater 1 will ring true. It is an event in which, as far as I could tell, the opposite of theatre is manifested as follows: a group of English speakers in a bar in Berlin.

That is all the description I need to give of it. There were other moments, tiny accidents happening like magic, as if perhaps designed by some invisible hand. There was the conversation I had with friends - about Portugese dictatorships, and representations of the holocaust (again). But to point them out seems ludicrous - they were, after all, accidents. Accident begins with purpose.

What is the opposite of theatre? If we create a opposite of theatre which is 'real life', then it will generate, by opposition, a false theatre, remaining unseen. So what 'theatre' did this anti-theatre create? To ask this question, we perhaps have to ask - what is the opposite to Americans drinking in a bar? To me, this is a problematic artifact to pose as anti-theatre. Too often now, theatres are reliant on their bar sales rather than ticket sales to drive profit. Theatre as a social experience has perhaps become a kind of bar - removal of formality, prevalence of lights and loud music, breaking down of the barrier between audience and 'the stage'.