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The Open Program in Lebanon

Dear Friends,

We are happy to announce that from the 8th till the 28th of January 2018, the Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards will be for the first time in Lebanon, on the invitation of the Holy Spirit University of Kasik (USEK).

Thanks to this invitation, the Open Program will be sharing and exchanging the recent fruits of its work with Lebanese audiences. The program includes a workshop with students, a Free Seminar of Singing, two Open Choirs, screenings of films presenting theatre works of Jerzy Grotowski and past performative opuses of the Workcenter, a presentation of The Hidden Sayings at the historic St John Marc Church in Byblos, previews of Dark Is My Mother, a piece developed by the women of the Open Program, and two other kinds of encounters: Breaking Bread (Al Khobz Wal Molh), a moment when we share food and singing, and a Public Conversation with Mr Albert Dichy Literary Director of IMEC (Institut Mémoires de l’Edition Contemporaine).

The workshop will be lead by Mario Biagini, Associate Director of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards, and Director of the Open Program; and by the actors of the Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards.


Free Singing Seminar
Wednesday January 10th 2018, from 7 to 10 PM

Atelier des Arts du Spectacle – USEK.

The Free Singing Seminar is a RELAXED welcoming session, where we teach some of the songs from our repertoire.

During the Seminar, we share with the participants the way we work on a possibility of encounter through song and dance in space. The songs are simple to learn and participants receive printed texts of the songs’ lyrics for an easier approach. The Seminar gives everyone who takes part simple tools to fully enjoy the Open Choirs, during which we will explore the songs and the very simple structures introduced during the Seminar.

 

Open Choirs
Friday, January 12, 2018 | 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Old Church of Our Lady of Hsarat – Hsarat Village
and
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 | 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Karyat El Insan, Father Allawi Foundation, Nahr Ibrahim

The Open Choir is an exploration of what we consider a forgotten art form, which allows a fluid and active participation by all who attend. It is a proposition of a new way of interaction, a singing session to which we invite everyone, regardless of age, profession or skill. Participants decide their level of involvement, and sing along with us or just listen and observe. It’s not a show, neither a play, nor a traditional choir, but rather an attempt to rediscover a forgotten way of being together, where we can face each other without fear or shame. It is an alive encounter, each time different, where those who participate become co-creators of a work of art that overcomes cultural and social barriers, opening up a shared space of mutual recognition.

 

The Hidden Sayings
Friday, January 19, 2018 | 8:00 p.m.
Cathedral St. John-Marc, Byblos

The Hidden Sayings is a creative exploration of the interaction between songs from the South of the United States, which belongs to the African-American tradition, and texts stemming from the origins of Christianity, mainly translated from Coptic and originating in the region embracing Egypt, the Middle East and Greece. The Hidden Sayings interrogates texts and songs. What can be for us today the function of these songs and texts, which are both, in different ways, at the roots of the civilization in which we live?

 

A preview of Dark Is My Mother, a developing work by the women of the Open Program
Friday January 26, 2018 | 8:00 p.m.
Atelier des Arts du Spectacle (AAS – HS304) – USEK

“She’s there and she’s here. You can find her in every house. She’s mother, daughter, wife, sister. Every woman close to you”.

Dark Is My Mother is a work in preparation, a serious and playful homage to the diverse manifestations of the ancient and powerful tradition of popular myth related to feminine entity. It explores the tradition of women’s gatherings and women’s communities, it opens to a world where women’s play, imagination, memories and temptations are woven into song, dance and praising.

 

Film Screenings
Akropolis
Thursday, January 11, 2018 | 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Auditorium of the Faculty of Music – USEK
Directed by James McTaggart. New York: Lewis Fredman, for Public Broadcast Laboratory, 1969.
Duration: 82 mins.

The film documents Grotowski and his Laboratory Theatre’s epochal rendering of Polish modernist Stanislaw Wyspianski’s play, Akropolis, which introduced Grotowski and the Laboratory Theatre to the West. It premiered in 1962 and its final version was presented in 1967. For this performance, Grotowski worked with Auschwitz survivor, late Jozef Szajna, famous Polish director, stage designer and playwright, who aside from being Grotowski’s main collaborator for the production, designed its costumes and props. Performed to great acclaim (and controversy) at the 1968 Edinburgh Film Festival, the piece features actors as Auschwitz prisoners building a crematorium around the audience while interpreting stories from the Bible and Greek mythology. The film includes an introduction and analysis by Peter Brook.

The screening will be introduced by Mario Biagini, Director of the Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards, and will be followed by a Conversation with Mr Biagini.

 

The Constant Prince: Reconstruction
Followed by a Conversation with the special presence of Mr Albert Dichy, Literary Director of IMEC (Institut Mémoires de l’Edition Contemporaine).

Thursday, January 18, 2018 | 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Auditorium of the Faculty of Music – USEK
Il Principe Costante. Riconstruzione. Istituto del Teatro e dello Spettacolo dell’Università di Roma, 1997. Reconstruction and restoration by Ferruccio Marotti, 2005; Italy.
Duration: 48 mins.

In 1965 Grotowski directed one of the greatest theatre landmarks of the 20th century, the Laboratory Theatre’s production of Juliusz Słowacki’s adaptation of The Constant Prince, Calderon’s classic play about torture and martyrdom. Ryszard Cieslak’s performance in the title role is considered the apogée of Grotowski’s approach to acting. Grotowski worked individually with Cieslak for more than a year to develop the details of the actor’s score, based on an extraordinary and luminous moment from his adolescence, before combining this central element of the performance with the work of other actors and the context of Calderon’s drama. In 1977, Ferruccio Marotti united silent footage of the landmark production with recorded dialogue, resulting in this 2005 digital restoration by the Università La Sapienza in Rome.

The screening will be introduced by Mario Biagini, Director of the Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards, and will be followed by a dialogue between Mario Biagini and Albert Dichy.

 

ACTION in Aya Irini
Sunday, January 28, 2018, 11:00 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Realized by a film team led by Jacques Vetter, France, 2004.
Produced by ACCAAN – Atelier Cinéma de Normandie.
Duration: 70 mins

Thomas Richards’s opus Action, begun by the Workcenter in 1994, was composed of extremely detailed lines of actions created with and around ancient vibratory songs from African and Afro-Caribbean traditions. Though created within the field defined by Peter Brook as “Art as vehicle,” which focuses on the impact an opus has on the doers, Action has been performed before thousands of people, always in small groups. In 2003, the piece was recorded in the Byzantine Church of Aya Irini in Istanbul as part of the Workcenter’s three-year “Tracing Roads Across” project, supported by the EU’s “Culture 2000” program and a network of cultural institutions from eleven different countries.

The screening will be introduced by Mario Biagini, Director of the Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards, and will be followed by a Conversation with Mr Biagni.

 

Breaking Bread (Al Khobz Wal Molh)
Saturday, January 13, 2018 | 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Atelier des Arts du Spectacle (AAS – HS304) – USEK
and
Saturday, January 20, 2018 | 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Atelier des Arts du Spectacle (AAS – HS304) – USEK

Al Khobz Wal Molh is a moment of meeting with each other, whereby we can eat and sing together. Through simple performing elements we share moments of interaction that can go beyond the social boundaries and cultural differences.


The project is hosted by the Faculty of MUSIC of USEK,
it is organized by the ATELIER DES ARTS DU SPECTACLE (AAS)
and conducted by THE OPEN PROGRAM of The WORKCENTRE of JERZY GROTOWSKI and THOMAS RICHARDS

in collaboration with the Theatro della Toscana, the ATTC (Arab Theatre Training Centre), the Institut Français, the Instituto Italiano di Cultura, and the embassies of, Austria, Brazil, Colombia and Italy.

The Atelier des Arts du Spectacle (AAS) was created in 2012 at USEK, it is a Performing Arts laboratory and observatory, which aims to give the students of USEK the opportunity to have a pseudo-professional experience while they are still at the university. This intramuros experience allows them to work with professional directors and performers; they participate to the artistic process and perform in creations both in university and professional theatres.

The AAS is a creative Atelier of permanent education for students, graduates, professionals and people from the community. It organizes and conducts workshops in the creative and technical domains.

The AAS is a laboratory based on its experimental activities and an observatory based on the research dimension behind all its activities.

The AAS is active within the structure of USEK, its activities are an integral part of the institutional activity of USEK and its legal and administrative structure is headed by USEK.