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Source Material on
Jerzy Grotowski
Durability of the Techniques

Additional Grotowski Material


Editor(Owen Daly)>: The following is a lightly edited version of an email Q&A about Grotowski between Jeffrey Spolan and an English Graduate Student.  It took place just as the new millennium was getting under way.


Grad Student> I am a mature student busily trying to finish my dissertation on Grotowski over this festive period!

Jeffrey Spolan> This is Good.
I was in Las Vegas for the millennium
taking in what Mr. G would've called


GS> Having read your interview about your experience with Pillory Theatre Company  I'd be really grateful for any info you could give me, or if you could just briefly answer a few questions for me ?

JS> I was a young man when I had the
good fortune to wander into that

At a time when getting out of my
head seemed perfect.
It still does.


GS>  I can see from your websites that you are still very much a working actor.

JS> As we e - verse each other
my face is being faxed to Hungary.
Someone thinks I'd be a
wonderful Ugly American
in a film they are shooting
in NYC...
Show Biz baby, Show Biz...?!?


 GS> Do you still employ any of Grotowski's techniques in your approach to your work?

JS> Depends on the role.
And what is required from your director.
It is good to have a secret place
from which you can draw strength
if you need it.
Your director need not know
about it.
He's interested in results.
Give him what he wants.
How you get there is your business.
ipso facto: learn the craft...
I think about G a lot.

A visit to
The excesses of Nevada
will especially do that to you...


GS> As a working actor do you in fact see Grotowski as relevant to your craft?

JS>  Absolutely.
An actor must have many sources
to draw from.
Living also helps.

Good training will show in your work.
People who know will recognize it.
Those who don't - will see something, too.

Don't worry about that.
I advocate working on your craft.


GS>  How much did you experience with Pillory influence or change your way of acting?

JS> My life.
Changed my life.
I travel a lot now.
I encourage my students to work

Some hold the opinion they
don't need to.
They'll learn... somewhere else...
they'll have to...

Especially if at this point all they
can imagine to aspire to is to become
a "neon god."
In the end one can only propose
one cannot impose them...

Sit with that one for a bit...


GS> How do you rate Grotowski's contribution to 20th century theatre?

I object to microphones attached
to the side of actor's heads
during musicals...

What do you make of that?

What does that tell you?


 GS> Can you see any of is influences in theatre as we approach the 21st century?

JS>  More people have been e mailing me
of late...
Technology has had a profound impact
on our lives...
Theatre can be the repository of what
remains unfulfilled by all that.

Or degenerate to a competition
which it cannot win.


GS> I hope these aren't too taxing or probing for you and as I said I'd be extremely grateful for you real experience and knowledge that you could offer.

JS>  They're not.

What do you really want to take from
the experience of working with G's techniques?

What have you brought to the party?

GS>  Wishing you all he best for the coming Millennium and hope to hear from you soon.  Thanks, a  struggling student in the English weather and gloom!

JS>  oh {GS} it's not as bad as all that!

I've seen something of storms myself
How much more glorious is the sun
after weathering a bit of rough weather...

Go to Spain and sit on a beach for a while
when this is all over.


Additional Information on Grotowski

E-Mail:Owen Daly Pillory Photographs
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