THE BACCHANALS’ MANIFESTO

as dictated by David Lawrence in August 1999

The aims of the company are:

  • to convey the importance of TEXT
  • to create TEXT-based, IMAGE-based, SYMBOL-based theatre
  • to engage the audience directly – theatre that speaks TO the audience rather than AT them
  • TEXT/IMAGE/SYMBOL/MUSIC-based theatre
  • theatre as a universal language – communicating not only to intelligent well-versed theatregoers but first-timers with no previous knowledge of the work in question
  • universal language = encompassing different styles and cultures – Greek+Roman classics to Mystery/Morality plays to Moliere to Shakespeare to Japanese theatre to Indian/Asian/African theatre – an attempt to embrace international theatre as opposed to NZ.  Perhaps NZ theatre styles will put a new angle on foreign works?
  • SPACE, site-specific
  • a company of various strengths & talents – actors who not only can do admin/design/production jobs & play instruments/sing/dance BUT who are different from each other in technique – NOT a company of identical drama school graduates all doing the same Stanislavsky/Laban/Alexander stuff.
  • emphasis in actors on ENERGY, INTENSITY, PASSION as opposed to training, reputation, image, ego
  • the play’s the thing – strong sense of DRAMATURGY
  • to reinterpret classic texts/plays/stories in a new, innovative way – to make the inaccessible accessible
  • not anti-workshops, but anti-wank
  • honest but not earnest
  • not democratic but still organic
  • not dictatorial but still reasonable
  • a production is never finished – finding ways of keeping work in repertory
  • a company where everyone knows everything, not just their own lines/scenes
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