The Plague: from an idea by Antonin Artaud

Bologna 3-6 April 2024


Workshop on Artaud's theories and the experience of The Living Theatre

directed by Gary Brackett and the performers of the Living Theatre Europa.


in collaboration with Teatro Ridotto (Bologna)


What actions could open a way out of humanity's dead end? Is it important to go to the theater? We must try to question who we are for each other: here and now in this space we must ask ourselves what the theatre can offer today.

Can it be relevant? Is it important? If we then answer, YES, it is important to go to the theatre, it begs the question: is what we do here today, for you the spectator, and for we who come before you, as significant as the actions of those protesting in the streets, as essential as the struggle of those trying to survive the war in Gaza, or in the Ukraine, or wherever the bombs are falling?


There can be theater only from the moment the impossible really begins.

Antonin Artaud


How can theater change everything? All and everything. Like wind in the night. A poem could do that. A social upheaval. A work of art. A political act. Anything that can produce the illumination that will pull the soul out of hiding and let it dance down through the highways of every Broadway and every village, the illumination that assures us of the presence of the divine within ourselves, the solar barque of hope.

Theandric, Julian Beck





3 April – 6 April

total 4 days of work | 24 hours


3-4 April (16.00 - 20.00)

5-6 April (11.00 - 20.00 - with lunch break)


A collective performance is scheduled for April 6th in the spaces of the Teatro Ridotto, with a time to be defined.


The program with the detailed timetable will be sent to the participants together with some study materials, approximately 10 days before the start of the workshop.




Part I – Initial Meeting and History of the Living Theatre

The first proposed laboratory moment will take place around the archive materials of the Living Theatre. Video content will be screened (Utopia Del Teatro Vivente: The Living Theatre) and some texts by the founders Beck and Malina will be read, as well as references from other theatrical writings (F. Quadri, C. Valenti, ...), materials on formal history, aesthetics and politics of The Living.

There will then be a collective session of a general discussion on the themes (burning questions) and their possible actualization in today's theatrical milieu and the beginning of the exploration of scenes and rituals taken from Mysteries and Smaller Pieces and Paradise Now.


Part II – Living Theatre Techniques

The proposed laboratory activity will be carried out using the material, scenes, forms and expressive languages that constitute the alphabet of the Living Theatre; the techniques will be those developed by the company over the course of its 75 years of activity:

• non-fictional acting

• Artaudian expressionism

• rituals

• yoga and mindfulness practices

• formal elements of the Political Theater of Brecht and Piscator

• formal elements of Street Theatre


Part III – Collective Creation

Based on the discussion of their burning questions, workshop participants will create their own original scenes. Gary Brackett will support the groups in managing the creative process by guiding the final phase of creation. We will experiment in the laboratory with new forms of ritual, valid in our daily lives, based on

changed needs and the new social and political conflicts present in our territory.


The theatre as vehicle for the initiation of changes, what we have called the theatre of changes: that is why the theatre must be as high as possible: it must get the audience high: theatre as ritual to free public consciousness. Great great hordes going to the theatre, Doctor, to get high…and free. Away from the undertow, the bring-down. High theatre in which the people are given the stimulus and the fuel to go beyond themselves. Uprising.

Julian Beck, The Life of the Theatre



Part IV – Final performance

At the end of the laboratory, a demonstration performance of the work carried out will be held, in places and methods to be defined.


The workshop is open to professional and non-professional actors. Minimum age 16 years.



The registration fee is €200 (which includes Living Theatre Europa membership fee and insurance coverage).

(Max 25 participants.)



In order to participate in the project it is necessary to communicate your data and a Letter of Motivation by filling out the form at the link: candidatura.lapestebologna


You can send your application from 16 February.



The selected participants will be contacted via email by the management:

- 9 March 2024 (for applications received by 4 March 2024)

- 28 March 2024 (for applications received after 4 March 2024)


Together with the outcome of the selection, the bank transfer details for the payment of the 50% deposit and the definitive payment methods and times will be communicated (if positive). Registration is completed upon receipt of the copy of the bank transfer of the 50% deposit, within five days following communication of the outcome of the selections.

Payment is only permitted by bank transfer or PayPal.


Please note that the deposit is non-refundable.


For info and requests:


Link to Antonin Artaud and the plague_what theater can do?

ENGLISH originale