lecture / Seth Baumrin
Centripetal and Centrifugal Forces: On the Sustainability of Autonomous Theatre Groups in the 21st Century – The Migratory Theatre Group v. The Acculturated Theatre Company. New ways of organizing the Arts and the Public”:
The paper interrogates the anti-theatrical prejudice symptomatic of recent shifts in global politics and power. “Centripetal and Centrifugal Forces” proposes a methodology that renounces and defies the institutionalization, programatization, and potential silencing of theatre groups according to narrow prerogatives of national culture and ethnic heritage. The methodology has its basis in classical and contemporary theatre theory and theatre history. The purpose of the methodology and its praxis is to embrace theatre artists who might be or have been disenfranchised and excluded from cultural production. The paper models actor/theatre group communication with the spectator and community which empowers the theatre artist as “public servant in spite of him/herself.” “Centripetal and Centrifugal Forces” delineates the artist’s duty to self and society, even the society that renounces her or him. As a means of describing this praxis, the paper addresses and responds to a series of questions drawn from the discourse on the theatre of social justice, and deploys a quantum physics model for actor to public communication as a means of categorizing the step by step process whereby theatre is a necessary instrument towards achieve a just society.