The Spurt of Blood, A Artaud

Tags: Theatre of Cruelty, Antonin Artaud, Jacqueline Dineen, Philbin Studio Theatre DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts, Readers' Theatre, Pilkinton, concept, Spurt, Mark Pilkinton, Theatre Season, theatre productions, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, Pierre Marivaux, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Ticket Office, Thornton Wilder, Yannis Limtsioulis, Jay Paul Skelton, London Stage, Artaud
Content: The University of Notre Dame Film, Television, and Theatre 2008 ­ 2009 Theatre Season Spurt of Blood Jet de Sang By Antonin Artaud Directed by Mark Pilkinton in a new translation by Krysta Dennis theatrical concept by Jacqueline Dineen and Mark Pilkinton
Tuesday, September 23 through Friday, September 26 and Sunday, September 28, 2008 Philbin Studio Theatre DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts
[ From the Director ] mark pilkinton
Produced for the first time 40 years after it was written in the mid-1920s, Spurt of Blood is regarded by many as surrealistic, proto-Absurdist theatre that is completely unstageable. With its sparse diction and almost nonexistent "plot," Spurt of Blood challenges the traditional Aristotelian concept of theatre. Father of the concept of "Theatre of Cruelty" popularized by Peter Brook in his seminal production of Marat/Sade in 1965, Antonin Artaud (1896­1948) believed that theatre should affect audiences viscerally by breaking through the patina of 2,000 years of numbing and pernicious civilization. Spurt of Blood openly and aggressively forces audiences to rethink their concept of theatre. Like Ionesco and the Absurdists he inspired, Artaud felt that language gets in the way of communication as often as it facilitates it.
This fantastical and shocking drama, here presented in a formal "Readers' Theatre" format for your edification and enjoyment, provides a glimpse into the mind of a theatrical genius and certified madman who was a major force in theatre theory in the second half of the 20th century. Under my tutelage as faculty director, we have created for the first time a company of FTT majors who, as a result of having studied Artaud on the page in formal coursework want to bring the man and his work to the stage. At the end of the day, we have concluded that critics may have been right all along: Spurt of Blood is indeed unstageable, and that perhaps only the presence (and genius) of Artaud himself could take this play to the theatrical level he originally intended.
[ F ROM THE D RAMATURG ] jacqueline dineen *
I was first introduced to Antonin Artaud's Spurt of Blood in the class "Theatre, History, and Society" where Prof. Pilkinton posed the question: "Wouldn't it be interesting to try to produce Artaud's unproducible play?" Almost two years later, in conjunction with my honors FTT thesis, I decided to pursue further that same question with Prof. Pilkinton by taking on the role of dramaturg in The Spurt of Blood company. We have accepted the challenge of taking Artaud's six-page play--which he himself never saw produced--and turning it into a full production. Our goal is to invite you, the Notre Dame audience, to experience Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty in your own individual way. This brief
performance seeks to awaken the audience's imagination through the simple movements of the actors, while the presence of the narrator enables you to provide your own vivid and sensual details to the production. As you will experience, Artaud's use of the word "cruelty" is not meant to evoke images of violence, but rather to incorporate everything that makes us human and to confront it on the stage. Artaud said, "Either we restore all the arts to a central attitude and necessity, finding an analogy between a gesture made in painting or the theatre, and a gesture made by lava in a volcanic explosion, or we must stop painting, babbling, writing, or doing whatever it is we do."
*FTT major
[ F ROM THE ARCHIVES ] This is the first time Spurt of Blood has been produced at Notre Dame.
[ Spu rt o f Blood St udy G ui de ] mary fisherє
While undisputedly influential, Antonin Artaud (September 4, 1896­March 4, 1948) remains one of the most controversial and discussed figures in 20th-century theatre history. Born to parents of Greek origin in the French city of Marseille, Artaud survived a tumultuous upbringing marked by frequent institutionalizations. Though Artaud made many important contributions to theatrical theory, few notions pervade contemporary theatrical discourse as thoroughly as does his concept of "Theatre of Cruelty," in which he implored his peers to restore to theatre a "passionate and convulsive conception of life." Originally delineated and described in The Theatre and Its Double, one of the most significant theoretical treatises on theatre of the 20th century, Artaud's precepts for "Theatre of Cruelty" remain essential for theatre artists today. Spurt of Blood, with its violent rigor and extreme condensation of scenic elements, evokes the ritualized physicality of the Balinese dance performance Artaud so revered. Although the playwright himself did not live to see it performed, the work endures as an archetype of the "Theatre of Cruelty" Antonin Artaud championed. THE ORIGINAL PRODUCTION Though Artaud completed Spurt of Blood in Paris on January 17, 1925, the play was not mounted for nearly 40 years, owing in part to its reputation as a piece of unstageable, surrealistic, proto-Absurdist theatre. Though a publicity blurb for Artaud's Thйвtre Alfred Jarry indicated that the play would be performed as part of its 1926
theatre season, a production never came to fruition. Instead, Spurt of Blood premiered unsuccessfully in 1964 as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Season of Cruelty, although Peter Brook's seminal production the same year of Marat/Sade is credited with making Artaudian theatrical principles commercially viable. SELECTED THEMATIC CONCERNS Theatre of Cruelty: Believing that text had for too long been a tyrant over meaning, Artaud championed a theatre that vacillated between thought and gesture. Only by communicating in this "language" and confronting the audience with the grotesque were actors able to completely strip away their masks and cast asunder all that is sacred as a human being. The creation of the world and its desecration by humanity The enduring conflict existing between the individual's emotional life and the values and practices championed by his or her society The fundamental nature of sin and blasphemy The inversion of innocence, devotion, and love with depravity, loathing, and cruelty The manner in which dominant Social Forces conspire to hinder the realization of love in its idealized form The wrath of the natural world
є FTT major/alumna
SPURT OF BLOOD'S LASTING IMPACT In addition to providing a glimpse into the mind of a theatrical genius and certified madman, Spurt of Blood 's feverish surrealism and raw physicality greatly expanded and redefined the boundaries of theatre in the second half of the 20th century. Beyond innovatively using lighting's ability to dematerialize stage action to disorient the spectator, Spurt of Blood serves as the
true culmination of Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty. By hurling spectators into the center of the action and forcing them to engage with the work on an instinctive, sensual level, Artaud shocked viewers out of their complacency and redefined theatre as a place of exorcism, not escape. Spurt of Blood leaves the spectator no choice but to acknowledge the dramatic and lasting impact Artaud's important insights had on theatre's role and function within society.
Spurt of Blood is presented with permission of Editions Gallimard.
[ ACK N OWLED G ME NTS ]
We are deeply indebted to our faculty and staff advisors Ken Cole, Rick Donnelly, Kevin Dreyer, Siiri Scott, Chris Sopczynski, Marcus Stephens, and Jane Zusman. The faculty and students of the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre would like to thank Daniel and Marie Messina for their generous support for our costumes.
The Messinas have endowed a fund to underwrite the creation of the wonderful costumes for all of our theatre productions. It is always gratifying when our work is recognized, and we, therefore, in turn want to recognize the Messinas, who make it possible for the work to continue and flourish. We gratefully acknowledge the support of Burger King (Quality Dining, Inc.) at the Huddle.
[ A N N OUNCEMENTS ]
The use of camera or recording devices during the performance is prohibited. Notre Dame has been designated as a smoke-free environment. Please turn off your cell phones and pagers.
There will be no intermission. This production is for mature audiences and contains language and situations some may find offensive.
[ CAST ] in order of appearance
Young Man..................................... John Maltese* Young Woman...................... Meghan Hartmann* Knight........................................... Devin Preston* Wet-Nurse........................................... Molly Key* Beadle...................................... Kathleen Hession* Priest............................................. Robert Jenista*
A Giant Voice.................Eduardo Velбzquez III* Madam......................................... Shay Thornton* Narrator.....................Stephanie Elise Newsome* Cobbler.................................... Kimberly Mering* Judge........................................Jacqueline Dineen* Popcorn Vendors...................... Maura Galbraith* Stephanie Elise Newsome*
[ A RTIS TIC STAFF ]
Director........................................ Mark Pilkinton Producer.......................................... Kevin Dreyer Assistant Director................. Kathleen Hession* Dramaturg..............................Jacqueline Dineen* Set Designer............................... Jennifer Stelloh*
costume designer................... Maura Galbraith* Lighting Designer................... Kimberly Mering* Technical Director..................... Caitlin Madden* Stage Manager.......................... Carolynn Richer*
[ PRO DUCTION STAFF ]
Assistant Stage Manager............. Kathryn Stelloh* Property Master.............................. Robert Jenista* Light Board Operator...................Caitlin Madden* Stage Hand................................ Michaela Gorman*
Costume Shop Supervisor.................. Jane Zusman Costume Shop Assistants........Katherine Conover, Rebecca Gilman, Laura Godlewski, Christie Hannon, Angelica Hernandez*, John Maltese*, Megan Novak, Jasmine Reed
*FTT major
[DEPARTMENT OF FILM, TELEVISION, AND THEATRE FACULTY ]
Donald Crafton (Chair) Christine Becker C. Kenneth Cole James Collins William Donaruma Richard E. Donnelly Kevin Dreyer Luke Gibbons
Jill Godmilow Karen Heisler Peter Holland Anton Juan Harry Karahalios Aaron Magnan-Park Theodore E. Mandell Susan Ohmer Brett Paice
Mark Pilkinton Yael Prizant Scot Purkeypile Siiri Scott Gary Sieber Jay Paul Skelton Pamela Robertson Wojcik Nejla Yatkin
EMERITI Reginald Bain Harry Kevorkian Frederic Syburg STAFF Christina Ries Chris Sopczynski Jackie Wyatt Jane Zusman
[ MARIE P. DEBARTOLO CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS ]
Anna Thompson (Executive Director) Tom Barkes Margot Borger Anna Bushlack Daniel Clark
Tony Costantino Terri Douglas Kyle Fitzenreiter Aaron Garman Ronald Grisoli Cynthia Haas
Leigh Hayden Douglas Hildeman Josh Ingle Kathleen Lane Sean Martin Tadashi Omura
Lori Pope Sarah Prince Patrick Ryan Alex Scheidler Denise Sullivan Jon Vickers
Presents: e Notre Dame Chamber Players October 1, 2008 7:30 p.m. DeBartolo Performing Arts Center music.nd.edu.
ACTORS FROM THE LONDON STAGE PRESENT Muucchh AAddoo AAbboouutt NNothinng
Hey, nonny, nonny! Don't miss your chance to see one of the world's most beloved comedies. Join Beatrice and Benedick for Shakespeare's greatest battle of wits January 28-30, 2009.
THREE PERFORMANCES ONLY Wednesday, January 28, 2009, at 7:30 pm Thursday, January 29, 2009, at 7:30 pm Friday, January 30, 2009, at 7:30 pm (All performances at Washington Hall)
AFTLS PROUDLY PRESENTED BY
Tickets available now! Call the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Ticket Office at 574.631.2800 or visit performingarts.nd.edu To learn more about Actors From The London Stage call 574.631.3777 or visit nd.edu/~aftls
2008­2009 UPCOMING PERFORMANCES T D By Pierre Marivaux, directed by Siiri Scott November 11­15, 7:30 p.m.; November 16, 2:30 p.m. G By Yannis Limtsioulis, directed by Anton Juan February 24­28, 7:30 p.m.; March 1, 2:30 p.m. O T By Thornton Wilder, directed by Jay Paul Skelton March 31­April 4, 7:30 p.m.; April 5, 2:30 p.m.
For upcoming events at the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre: ftt.nd.edu
For upcoming events at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center: performingarts.nd.edu

A Artaud

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Author: A Artaud
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