The purpose o“the art of the human being.”
The purpose of this theatre is to engender global theatre based on the art of acting, the essential art of the stage, what Jean-Louis Barrault called “the art of the human being."
In painting, each stroke of the artist's brush both adds to and changes a picture. In acting,
each stroke of the confluence of a character's relationships at any moment both adds to and
changes a character's life. Actors create such strokes of relationships through an intuitive and
inexplicably mysterious process, just as any art is created. But painters use brushes and
paints, and musicians use musical instruments and notes, and there is nothing mysterious
about the instruments or materials of their art.
The true instrument of acting has, since ancient times, has been mystery. It is why many of
the world's greatest actors say they don't know anything about acting and those who do try
to explain it are so vague on the subject. It is possible for great actors to create wonderful
living characters because the true acting instrument is the same organic operating system
with which real life relationships are produced, and some actors are gifted with an ability to
engage it artistically. This ability is comparable to the ability that singers gifted with a great
vocal instrument have, or the natural ability to draw that people born with the gift of great
hand-eye coordination have. Some actors intuitively know what a real life feels like and can
create characters that have it, in such a way that others can experience it.
This relationship-producing instrument, which could also be called an information
synthesizer but is in reality a self-organizing complex system, is a discovery resulting from an
exploration of acting I began over forty years ago. It is inherent in everyone and functions
whether one uses it artistically or not. But it is what gifted actors intuitively use in the creation
of characters' lives because life exists--manifests--as relationships, and relationships are the
substance of acting: the language of story-telling on the level of life itself.
There is no technique attached to this instrument, just as there is no technique attached to
a piano or paintbrush. Very good actors have their own techniques, which can vary from role
to role. Great actors often have very quirky ways of getting into characters that only they
understand. Certainly, as an actor, I wouldn't care to be in a situation where I had to act
according to a certain technique. Characters are approached and created in innumerable
ways, depending on many often largely unpredictable factors. There is no telling how or what
will enable an actor to connect with a character. But whatever it is, it is from there, with that
connection, that the actor enters into a character and begins to weave the fabric and story of
the character's life, which is composed of its relationships. It is an intuitive process. Actors
draw from the world, the world of the play and their own lives to create multi-dimensional
characters. With an understanding of this instrument as an actor, which is one and the same
as an instrumental understanding of relationships, actors have the freedom as artists to push
the boundaries of their acting just as artists who work in other mediums can, to develop their
art without limit.
"Mari Gorman's work is rich and stimulating. The multi-dimensional techniques she has
discovered for probing the life of a role are based on sound acting principles. Students
of the theatre will find her passionate approach a most rewarding experience. Her work
towards the Ideal Theatre most certainly merits support."
–Joseph Papp, 1976. Producer, Director, and Founder,
New York Shakespeare Festival and The Public Theater
-- Mari Gorman
Note: After viewing a demonstration, Mr. Papp didn't, as you can read, describe this work as an acting technique but rather as "multi-dimensional techniques...for probing the life of a role." There is a world of difference between these, which he recognized. I was also told by his office that it was the only statement pertaining to a study of acting that he had ever given for publication.
Glass Beads Theatre Ensemble