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The Open Theater - Andre Gregory Interview

Year: 1975, 29 mins
Code: CAT-Open

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Demonstration of acting exercises, and performance by members of the Open Theater of an excerpt from their new (1975) production, "Fable."
Interview with director Andre Gregory about preparatory training at his Manhattan Project theater group. Voice coach Kristin Linklater is seen working with students. Themes: Sound and gesture, silence and movement are explored as essence of behavior such as paranoia, not the regular behavior of society.
Actors are "jammed" with each other on stage. Radical improvisation and instant non-verbal communication. Ways of breathing. The individual actors explain that they "search for themselves and don't want method or theory and want to reveal inner unknown possibilities." Gregory says he uses every idea he can - acrobatics, circus, ideas from Grotowski, anything to make the actor more physical. He explains Grotowski's "plastiques" and demonstrates on camera. He divides each part of the body into an isolated vocabulary of movement. "Plastique does not involve thought. You don't try, you just do it."

Open Theater was an experimental theatre group active from 1963 to 1973. Founded in New York City by a group of former students of acting teacher Nola Chilton, and joined shortly thereafter by director Joseph Chaikin, formerly of The Living Theatre, and Peter Feldman. Megan Terry. Chaikin disbanded the Open Theater in 1973, amid fears that it was becoming too institutionalized.

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