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  • Angela Allyn

“GROTOWSKI to RICHARDS: SONG and ACTION" with a public performance of SONGS at Chopin

The Theatre No Theatre team presently touring the US is comprised of Thomas Richards (US), Jessica Losilla-Hébrail (France), and Hyun Ju Baek (South Korea) all former members of the performing arts establishment the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards. Their project reflects on the legacy of the Workcenter established in 1986 in Pontedera, Italy, as well as on their present day international research.

Working with Grotowski on ancient songs awakened something inside of me; gave me the sensation that I was hearing someone from my ancestry sing. This was a very deep experience for me. I'm half black and half white. I come from a mixed family. My father’s line comes from the Caribbean, and I grew up in NYC completely disconnected from any kind of African tradition. I went to a school that was almost all Jewish in fact. I wanted desperately to to be Black, to understand my Blackness, but without any means to do so. And when I met this Polish man with a white beard who kind of looked like Santa Claus, who had worked in the Caribbean so deeply, it was very bizarre. It was strange to encounter something of my African conditions somehow through him.”

Our work is aimed at helping people recuperate contact with that which is hidden, through action. Your daily life, my daily life, all of our daily life is often made up of a more superficial part of oneself. We smile before we really smile. We frown before we really frown. We pretend to be humble when we’re not. A song can be a kind of call. You're singing, this song – and you perceive already in your being a kind of intention that is hidden inside the ancient song. An intention, a kind of desire to call to the surface a deeper strata from within. A way of relating yourself to something that is much greater than yourself can appear. And then a kind of process can start to flow and articulated itself through action, in which it’s as if all these levels of your human nature, which are awakening and intensifying through the work on the song, start to stack up so to speak, like a ladder, one on top the other, and a kind of special lived experience can take place, Grotowski used the term verticality.” - Thomas Richards (Based upon the podcast. Corrections by the Author. Podcast full link -

Introduction and Songs (performance). April 10th @ 5pm. Reception follows $20 Tickets here

Masterclass workshop “The Potential of Song” April 9th and April 10th @ 10:30am - 1pm Limited 20 people $160/two day session Tickets here

Performance audience must provide proof of vaccination OR proof of having Covid-19 within 5 months OR a negative rapid test which can be taken at Chopin Theatre. Workshop participants must provide, on the first day, a negative Covid-19 rapid test result. Theatre No Theatre US tour at Balch St. Theatre (Akron) & Wayne State University and The Hinterlands (Detroit). Chicago events partially supported by Polish Consulate RP in Chicago and cooperation with Columbia College and other universities.

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