Ed Menta, Kalamazoo College:
“We were very happy to have New World Performance Lab on our campus. Our students benefited from both the workshop, and the performance of The Book of Saints and Martyrs — a terrific exposure to this kind of experimental and disciplined work, a living link to the traditions of Artaud and Grotowski.”
Ken Martin, Coastal Carolina University:
“Each time I have had the privilege of working with or seeing the
work of New World Performance Laboratory, I have been mesmerized by their intensity, their discipline, their dedication and reverence for the work. The experiences have all made me view what is possible in the theatre in a different way. They are consummate theatre artists”
My experience with the New World Performance Laboratory
I first met the New World Performance Laboratory in Faenza, Italy in 2000. Some friends of mine worked for some time with James Slowiak and Jairo Cuesta, and, as I liked very much the way of thinking about theatre that these friends had, I thought that it would have been interesting to meet the NWPL in a workshop.
The first thing that I remember about that first meeting is my feeling that theatre was truly only a part of the work, or, as I like to put it, something more similar to a mean, instead of an end. I had rarely met before that experience a kind of work that changes so deeply your way to see, listen, meet, be attentive, be connected with the space and the environment.
This work on the way to feel and react to the world is developed with the most close experience I have ever had to the Grotowskian description of the negative way. All the work was based on the need to eliminate the habits, both physical and mental, that are built in daily, social life that make our relations with people and things stereotypical and automatic. These virtual boundaries are then revealed and touched by means of physical training, voice work, songs, dances. All these aspects are faced both singularly and in group, but always with a special attention to precision. The need to be precise in every aspect of the work is one of the most powerful instruments that helps to stay focused and awake.
I was so touched by that first workshop that I decided to follow the NWPLs work every time that I could. After three years I feel that all the experiences with them enrich profoundly both my artistical work and my personal life.