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In The Empty Space, director Peter Brook outlines his theories on the theater by

exploring four different meanings of the word theater - Deadly, Holy, Rough,
Deadly Theatre is the theatre of commerce set up to make money for its producers.
It's the theatre of imitation, trying to mimic the box office successes of the past.
This affects all aspects, permeates every level. The Directors rely on the old clichs
and gimmicks of the past without exploring the texts for their deeper meanings. The
Actors do not move past the emotional facades of the roles, playing the surface
knee-jerk reactions that they get from text, resulting in stereotypical portrayals. The
Audience accepts this Deadly Theatre because they have sought out an honest
experience, and rather than accept the disappointment of the less than authentic
encounter, they feign excitement and appreciation. Brooks posits that the Audience
would rather acquiesce here in order to avoid feeling left out of a cultural loop
designed by an elite who have embraced Deadly Theatre. The Critics play the
society column game of declaring the big budget shows as overwhelming hits
without any true critical analysis. Deadly Theatre is the theatre of repetition.
Holy Theatre is "The Theatre of the Invisible - Made - Visible."
This is what theater and all art making should be addressing- the bringing to light
the dark recesses of the human experience; to perform rituals that ask the
questions about why we are the way we are; how can we change or accept the less
damaged aspects of human nature; what does being in community with others
Religious teaching - including Zen - asserts that this invisible-visible cannot be seen
automatically - it can only be seen given certain conditions. Holy art is an aid to
this, and so we arrive at at definition of Holy Theatre. A Holy Theatre not only
presents the invisible but also offers conditions that make its perceptions possible,
according to Brook.
The strengths of a Holy Theatre are also what limit its appeal - the desire to answer
the truly personal needs of those who are in the process of creating it. This is not
the theatre of mass appeal. Brook explains the processes of three artists who are
engaged in the creation of holy theatre - Merce Cunningham, Jerzy Grotowski and
Samuel Beckett. All three are well known in their respected disciplines, but have
limited visibility in popular culture.
To underscore this, read Brook on the three:
"They each start from their hunger, each works to lessen his own need. And yet the
very purity of their resolve, the high and serious nature of their activity inevitably
brings a colour to their choices and a limitation to their field. They are unable to be
both esoteric and popular at one and the same time."
Rough Theatre could be seen as the antithesis of Holy Theatre by misinterpreting it
as anti-intellectual. It is cruder, more popular and doesnt require any "great study."

Brook again:
"It is always the Popular Theatre that saves the day. Through the ages it has taken
many forms, and there is only one factor that they all have in common - A
roughness. that is not in a theatre, ...on carts, on wagons, on trestles,
audiences standing, drinking, ... joining in, answering back."
Or perhaps El Teatro Campesino or Culture Clash. Ultimately, Rough Theater is
indeed intelligent in its grasp of social interaction and the community at large,
unerring in its ability to lay bare social issues. I would say "Real" is the key word
here, rather than "Rough."
In the last chapter, Brook discusses his personal experiences in creating theater. He
describes this as Immediate Theatre because theatrical "common reality" exists
only in the moment of performance and is lost once the lights go out. It then
becomes something different in the minds of each who experienced it. It is this
immediacy that draws people to the theater, the liveness, the closeness to reality.
Immediacy is the quality that makes theater unique.

In his classic book on theatre called The Empty Space, Peter Brook delivers a powerful
indictment of deadly theatre. He identifies deadly theatre as performances that are dull and
boring, providing no transcendental experience or immediate encounter with truth and beauty. In
his book, Brook traces out several reasons why deadly theatre happens and why it persists.

Deadly theatre happens when all the stage directions are prescribed, leaving no room for
improvisation and creativity.

Deadly theatre is content to be conventional and follow the rules.

Deadly theatre is imitative rather than innovative.

Deadly theatre approaches performance from the perspective that somewhere, someone
has found out and defined how the play should be done.

Deadly theatre persists because it does not adapt to a changing culture and expectations.

Deadly theatre persists because people are most concerned about what makes money
(consumerism) rather than what is interesting (creativity).

The list could go on, but hopefully you are getting the point. Deadly theatre is boring,
uninteresting, repetitive, traditional, conventional, standardized, regulated, and consumeristic.
If you read The Empty Space and substitute Christianity for theatre, the results are stunning.