MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. . .The need to act directly and profoundly upon the sensibility through the sense organs invites research. . . into qualities and vibrations of sounds to which we are absolutely unaccustomed, qualities which contemporary instruments do not possess and which compel us to revive ancient and forgotten instruments or to create new ones.
LIGHTING. . .In view of the peculiar action of light on the mind, the effects of luminous vibration must be investigated, along with new ways of diffusing light in waves, or sheets, or in fusillades of fiery arrows. . . In order to produce particular tone qualities, one must reintroduce into light an element of thinness, density, opacity, with a view to producing heat, cold, anger, fear, etc.
SPECTACLE. . .There is an idea of total spectacle that must be revived. The problem is to make space speak, to enrich and furnish it; like mines laid in a wall of flat rocks which suddenly give birth to geysers and bouquets.
-Antonin Artaud “The Theater of Cruelty”
All of Artaud’s prescriptions for reifying expression and performance are based in the idea that “In the state. . . in which we live, it is through the skin that metaphysics will be made to reenter our minds”. The Theater of Cruelty requires “expression in space” to reach the spectator’s mind through a ruthless (though not uncalculated or illogical) barrage of the senses. The theater’s purpose is not its ability to entertain or its literary-ish construction of canon. Rather, its “only value lies in its excruciating, magical connection with reality and danger”.
For Artaud, a meaningful performance must result from both regression and research. Performers must make use of all levels of perception, from the most basic sensory reception to the most mysterious intuition to the most complex intellection. With a kind of academic diligence, the actor/artist must explore and develop languages of sound and light. Incorporating fragments of the recognizable world, the actor/artist will “rediscover the notion of a kind of unique language halfway between gesture and thought”.
Welcome to the laboratory.
scene 1 “initial alert”
scene 2 “retrieving the injured”
scene 1 “diagnosis”
scene 2 “we must rebuild”
ACT III [final act]
scene 1 “say your goodbyes”
scene 2 “possessions for dollarz”