Opening Statement

In Tracing Roads Across we have articulated all elements of our present research at the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards, from the practical to the theoretical. Herein we will trace links with those outside the work through open events, exchanges of work, meetings, etc.; and also trace links inside the group­– there where the content of the work goes towards what is more essential in us and between us; and address a question for the individual: the development of the craft for the human being and the human being in the craft.
There is an inner-place, yes, a kind of inside place, that, when unearthed, is longing to be filled, and in a subtle way, completed. Over and between us, there is a source that is looking to flow in, and into life, to nourish and be nourished. Through doing and through craft, we are looking to remember, and to trace roads across.
Tracing Roads Across has been made possible by people who over the years have become near friends of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards. Among them, Gül Gürses, Artistic Director of Theater des Augenblikcs, who first came to see our work in 1999, and then invited our team on different occasions to Vienna. During one of our visits, we were talking with her about the never-ending “material question”, and she said that if we articulated a solid proposal to the “Culture 2000” Programme of the European Union outlining the Workcenter’s artistic dreams for the next years, she was sure that we would receive support. With drive she accompanied us through the year of application preparation, never abandoning her initial optimism and, to our surprise, her intuition proved right. I am happy that our friendship, based on common artistic sensibilities and intentions, will find its development within Tracing Roads Across.
I also wish to mention here our long-lasting bond with Fondazione Pontedera Teatro, its Director Roberto Bacci and Co-director Carla Pollastrelli. They and their team gave the Workcenter its chance to exist from the very beginning. The support we have received from them throughout the last seventeen years has been solid and continuous. Luca Dini also, the other Co-director of Fondazione, receives our thanks for his continuous engagement. They all gave Jerzy Grotowski carte blanche to work with us at the Workcenter in his way and in his time, so that, day by day, we could move towards a heightening in quality in the work. Born a long time before Tracing Roads Across, our friendship with Fondazione Pontedera Teatro extends naturally into the present project.

Thomas Richards
Pontedera, Italy, May 2003