THE REDUTA AND VIEUX COLOMBIER (Reduta J. Osterwy i M. Limanowskiego a Vieux Colombier J. Copeau)
The origin of the Reduta Theatre and Vieux Colombier is part of the current of the reform of the theatre at the turn of the nineteenth century. This sudden upheaval and appearance of new ideas, together with an attempt at extracting the theatre from the state of inertia into which it had been thrust by the nineteenth century, undoubtedly exerted an enormous impact on Osterwa, Limanowski or Copeau. At the same time, all three transcended the domain of the aesthetic quest conducted by the First Theatre Reform by granting the focal point to the actor conceived as an artist of the theatre. By conducting a search within the art of acting they continued the work of the first theatrical laboratory - the Moscow Art Theatre, founded in 1898 by Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko. The three authors concentrated their efforts on freeing the actor from the routine of his profession. They contrasted ensemble work with the star system, the agility of the mind and the body with rigidity and the recreation of clichés, and activity with recitation. The theatre is not entertainment but a challenge and a service. By choosing the shortest path towards fame, the actor has narrowed his horizons and deformed his profession. Osterwa, Limanowski and Copeau required predominantly people pursuing a passion, true lovers of the theatre - amateurs. One could say that they wished to train future professionals-amateurs, envisaging these paradoxical combinations as the sole guarantor of genuine change.
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