Peter Brook is one of the most versatile of contemporary theatre directors. In an enormously productive career he has directed more than sixty theatre productions, eight operas and eleven films. Since his work in the 1950s and 1960s is well documented, this chapter will provide an outline of his concerns and practice from A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1970 to The Mahabharata in 1986. Brook was intensely impressed in the 1960s with the work of Grotowski, whom he invited to conduct workshops with the Royal Shakespeare Company actors involved in his US project. Like the Polish director, Brook came to see the actor as ultimately the only source of creativity in the theatre. Without going so far as to abandon production, Brook has nevertheless refined his role to the point where he works principally as a catalyst to his actors’ creativity. His art is also marked, however, by his own ethical concerns and has increasingly become a vehicle for spiritual search, both for himself and for the members of his international research group.
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