2012-03-12
2012-03-25

Ule (Beehives)

the general name for the open paratheatrical activities taking place within The University of Research of the Theatre of Nations (1975). These activities were of a varied nature and proceeded in various ways, but the fundamental characteristics linking them were open access to them, the lack of any prerequisites for entry, and also a relatively low level of control over their execution. Beehives were in principle improvised activities, open to the participants’ creativity and dependent on their own initiative. Particular realisations of the activities were led by Zbigniew Teo Spychalski (14–15 June, 18 June 1975). Włodzimierz Staniewski (17 June, 26 June, 4 July), Jacek Zmysłowski (27–28 June), Ludwik Flaszen (19 June), Ryszard Cieślak (19 June and 3 July), Zbigniew Cynkutis and Rena Mirecka (24 June and 1 July) and Stanisław Scierski (29–30 June). There were also Beehives led jointly by Staniewski and Zmysłowski (6 July) and by Gabriel Arcand, Małgorzata Dziewulska and Andre Gregory (25 June). The number of outside participants in each session fluctuated between three and 220, with a total of 1842 individuals involved overall. This was Grotowski’s boldest attempt of all to use the methods of paratheatre on ‘ordinary’ people as well as on artists and creators outside the Laboratory Theatre. Grotowski and his collaborators looked back on the project highly critically, since the Beehives evoked a whole series of stock emotional reactions, causing stereotypes to be recreated and performed. Other problems included a lack of professionalism and submitting to uncontrolled emotions (‘emotional soup’). Despite all this, the experience acquired from the Beehives was put to use in further activities within active culture, including Night Vigils, Mountain Project and Tree of People.

Bibliography: 

Na drodze do kultury czynnej. O działalności instytutu Grotowskiego Teatr Laboratorium w latach 1970–1977, opracowanie, dokumentacja prasowa Leszek Kolankiewicz, Instytut Aktora – Teatr Laboratorium, Wrocław 1978.