Gratitude, Astonishment, and Humanity: Peter Brook at A.C.T.

By Elspeth Sweatman
When you reach director Peter Brook’s age, the distinction between useful and useless becomes clear. The argument about who Shakespeare really was? Useless. Using theater effects for their shock value? Useless. Stripping away until you are left with pure storytelling? Useful.

“Theater began with a storyteller,” says Brook. “It began with somebody often sitting in the open air or outside a temple, people gathering round and the storyteller beginning to tell his story.”

On Monday night, Brook sat down with A.C.T.’s Dramaturg Michael Paller to discuss the connection between Shakespeare and the Mahabharata, how he came up with the idea for his seminal work The Empty Space, and how to make theater that is contemporary.

Here is the full conversation.

Peter Brook’s Battlefield runs through May 21 at The Geary Theater. Click here to purchase tickets through our website. Want to learn more about Brook’s career and the Mahabharata? Click here to purchase Words on Plays, A.C.T.’s in-depth performance guide series.

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