manifest this!

George Hunka has an interesting post on Superfluities (go here to read it) about the manifesto by Erik Ehn that helped lead to the formation of the RAT Conference. Manifestos are strange and scary things, calling to mind all kinds of radical calls to action (communists, Warhol-snipers, militant feminists…). But they’re also statements of conviction, something that’s utterly necessary to artistic creation. “Nobody writes manifestos any more,” a theatre friend of mine said a few months ago, and we spent torturous weeks wondering why and trying, with limited success, to come up with one for our ensemble. And it’s hard. I’ve been scouring the RAT site, which has published missions and manifestos of a few theatres and groups that teeter on the border between conviction and gleeful zealousness. Are manifestos necessary to create good collective theatre? Or do they just create close-mindedness and ultimately limit the boundaries of exploration and experimentation? What’s so wrong with idealism, anyway?

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