About Workcenter activities
About Workcenter activities

The external activities of the Workcenter have taken many shapes over the years and at present are developing along nine different lines:

- Invitation of individuals to witness the creative opus Action and the process of work on The Twin: an Action in creation.
- Presentations of Project The Bridge: Developing Theatre Arts.
- Specially designed projects in many countries all over the world.
- Meetings with theatre groups and ensembles.
- Publishing of books/essays about the research.
- Documentary materials recorded on film, video and audio tapes.
- Conferences.
- Seminars with professionals from academic and scientific institutions.
- Educational aspect.

Detailed information about Workcenter activities
Invitation of individuals to witness the creative opus Action and the process of work on The Twin: an Action in creation. This activity has increased extensively over the last years. Up to the present day, thousands of persons from all over the world have had the opportunity to witness the work at the Workcenter in the domain of “art as vehicle”. Individuals are invited on the basis of a written request on their behalf or on direct invitation from us. They are mainly persons belonging to the field of theatre, to anthropology, to religion, other disciplines in the arts, practical and theoretical, and also theatre lovers. Normally we invite persons in small groups.

Presentations of Project The Bridge: Developing Theatre Arts.
Since May 1998, the Workcenter is developing a new branch in its research, a branch that is evolving and maturing next to the research on "art as vehicle", Project The Bridge: Developing Theatre Arts. Therein, a bridge is being sculpted in the material of performing arts, a bridge stretching from the world of the theatre to the investigations on "art as vehicle". What is appearing in Project The Bridge is neither theatre in the strict sense, nor “art as vehicle”.

The first piece created inside Project The Bridge was One Breath Left, directed by Mario Biagini and Thomas Richards.
One breath left was presented, among other locations at: the Substation, Singapore; the Chinese Heritage Center, Singapore, in the frame of Singapore's annual International Theatre Festival 2000; in the frame of Singapore's annual International Theatre Festival 2001; Casa delle Culture e dei Teatri, Bologna (Italy); the Festival Generazioni 2000 and 2001 in Fondazione Pontedera Teatro, Pontedera (Italy); the Theater des Augenblicks in Vienna (Austria); Anatoli Vasiliev’s "School of Dramatic Art" in Moscow; ERT of Modena (Italy); Teatro Comunale di Ferrara (Italy); National Turkish Theater, Ankara, (Turkey); Enka Foundation, Istanbul, (Turkey), Teatro dei Sassi of Matera (Italy), Teatro Libero di Palermo (Italy).

Now, a new piece is emerging inside Project The Bridge, Dies Iræ: My Preposterous Theatrum Interioris Show, directed by Mario Biagini and Thomas Richards.
Dies Iræ is open to an audience and has already been presented in the frame of Tracing Roads Across in Istanbul (Turkey), Pontedera (Italy), Varna (Bulgaria), Caen (France), Nicosia (Cyprus), and Vienna (Austria).

Specially designed projects in many countries all over the world. Some projects can last more than one month. The projects may contain the doing of the creative opuses seen by witnesses and/or spectators, practical working sessions, and different encounters, meetings, conferences, and the showing of films of the present and past opuses. These projects are created in collaboration with the host of the project, looking to use the creative possibilities and facilities of the given place or city with their unique and particular characteristics which correspond to the artistic needs of the Workcenter research.

Meetings with theatre groups and ensembles: either a group visits us or we visit them. An exchange takes place where each group observes the practical work of the other, opuses and exercises included. Hundreds of young theatres and theatres of research have taken part in such exchanges with the Workcenter team, companies who have normally written asking for contact. The meetings are protected from publicity, and only the visiting group and the hosting group take part: thanks to this precaution, often, an extremely open, and thus practically useful discussion appears concerning what the groups have observed in one another's works.

Publishing of books/essays about the research, often accompanied with public presentations and discussions.

Documentary materials recorded on film, video and audio tapes. These documentary materials are normally exclusively presented as a part of projects held by the Workcenter, or when with Mr. Richards, artistic director and leader of the Workcenter research, and/or Mr. Biagini, associate director are present. Often, after the showing of such material, there is an open discussion with those present.

Conferences held by Mr. Richards and Mr. Biagini together and individually. In these conferences different elements of the research are presented and analyzed, often with one or more of our creative opuses, related texts or documentation films as a reference point, and then, there is an open discussion with the audience.

The Workcenter is in active dialogue with professionals from academic and scientific institutions/organizations from all over the world. Often, in such dialogues, professors have had the opportunity to analyze the Workcenter research in a historical and cultural perspective. When needed, these dialogues are translated into written acts. The modalities of the dialogues are discovered each time anew, looking to create the conditions for an in-depth encounter.[1]

Educational aspect: this refers to the team-members who take part in the practical research at the Workcenter. The minimum time of permanence at the Workcenter is one year and selections take place at the interval of one year or more. Often stagiaires receive scholarships from their countries in order to support themselves during their time within the research. An intense practice of apprenticeship is necessary which allows to integrate the new members in the team.

[1] Richards, Thomas (1997) The Edge-Point of Performance, Documentation Series of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski, Pontedera, Italy. German Ed.: In “Aubruch zu neuen Welten”, IKO - Verlag für Interkulturelle Kommunikation (2000). Italian Ed.: Fondazione Pontedera Teatro (2000). Polish Ed.: in “Dialog” year XLIV, nr. 6 (511), nr. 7 (512), nr. 8 (513) (2000). Greek Ed.: Ekdoseis Gabrielides, Athens 2001.