BUY TICKETS FOR "THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI"
BY BERTOLT BRECHT HERE.

A GROUP OF THEATRE PRACTITIONERS, TEACHERS AND STUDENTS OF THEATRE ARE ABOUT TO EMBARK ON AN ADVENTUROUS PROJECT TO MOUNT A PRODUCTION OF BRECHT'S "THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI" AT A TIME OF RISING DEMAGOGUES AND POPULATIONS TURNING DESPERATELY TO THOSE PROVIDING SEEMINGLY EASY SOLUTIONS TO A VERY COMPLEX WORLD OF PROBLEMS.

It is so easy for contemporary societies unfamiliar with any experience of extreme dictatorships to dismiss the rise of demagogues such as Adolf Hitler as something that happens elsewhere or in other times.

The danger is that we can too easily neglect to recognize what Erich Fromm had shown as our "fear of freedom" and how this fear manifests in the actions and desires of ordinary people.

Daramalan Theatre Company (DTC) is examining the dramaturgical implications of presenting a play that is both comic and darkly prophetic for an audience with little knowledge of the period about which it was primarily  concerned. Brecht felt uncomfortable about presenting his play "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" even in the 1950s because the audience in Germany at that time was still part of the very legacy that the play attacked. Today, the danger for Brecht might seem to be very different as audiences have seen the situations as simply a kind of fantasy or something of historical intrigue with little other value than as entertainment! Arturo Ui is no longer Hitler. Even if his story parallels that of the mustached one parodied in the original production and by Chaplin before that. The dramaturgy of presenting this work today to an audience in Canberra, Australia, is both complex and simple at the same time. We are no longer dealing with history as much as we are dealing with whole gamuts of social psychology. The work is now more concerned with crises of certainty and trust; how much we bargain away our freedom (even if it is corrupted and compromised) to place trust in authorities, ideologies and charismatic individuals that seem to promise the way forward ... and always with a cost!

Dare we say that Fascism is not an historical phenomena. Rather it is a tendency within us all; a kind of psychological need for controlling others to fulfill a tunnel-visioned ego-centric notion of the our position in the world. We can identify it in friendship groups, families, communities, professions, politics and ourselves at given points in time! It's key companion is 'control' ... the need to control a class, a company, a religion, a community, a life ... Our call to arms is less to present a play; rather it is to "RESIST ARTURO UI" ... RESIST the Arturo in each of us and wherever it manifests. Arturo Ui now is less representative of Hitler and is a more generalized yet potent force in and around us all.

DTC has developed a Manifesto to guide the development of the project. It will be binding on all participants and opens the universe up to artistic and social exploration.

THE NEED FOR A MANIFESTO

The relationship between art, politics, education and the individuals and the institutions who engage with the macro-universe of our themes is fragile. It is ephemeral and vital. It provides the basis for a working model grounded in more than technical knowledge, ego, nostalgia, whimsy or semantics. This relationship between the multitude of facets that make up and inform a working process demands more than the standard and possibly stale hierarchies of working methods that are taught and practiced in training institutions and management schools.

While respecting the authority each one of the practitioners possesses, we respect above all the process and discipline of the art form. The personal power, no matter how charismatic, is acknowledged; however, it cannot become the dominant persuasive element in our mission. By this, we mean to withdraw the personal “I” out of our artistic and pedagogical interactions. At every point in our dealing with each other and with student participants, we defer to the “process” or “the scene’ or to whatever “it needs” to make the moment tor performance work.

&ldots; And thus a manifesto; a statement of differentiation and separation from common practice! It is a declaration against the fundamental personal Fascist tendencies in all authority and in all personal need for CONTROL. It recognizes that ALL need for control is, in its extreme form, a fertile seed for Fascism &ldots; and for our project, it represents the DNA of the Demagogue.

So, to make our production a stone thrown into stagnant waters of culture, we need to ensure its weight is fed by considered processes and approaches that will nourish the ripples of change contained in all theatre presentation.

THERE IS NO “GOOD” . . .  ONLY WHAT IS WORKING

 To remove the strait-jacket we place around others who join us or who rely on us for instruction, inspiration or reward (through compliance) we need to delete the term “GOOD” from our vocabulary and, by necessity and implication, the term “BAD”! To release a work that seeks its own artistic status, we must remove the barrier of our ego and vanity from that space between creator and creation.

We acknowledge that the WORK IS THE MASTER.

All mastery must derive from this one defining principle.

THE WORK IS THE MASTER!

All discipline and commitment must emerge from this one principle and not from the exhortation or demands imposed by the teacher, practitioner or expert &ldots; or, for that matter, by expertise! The sticky gold stars of our education system need replacing by the VISIBLE evidence and structures of the art form and our function and our mission.

The removal of “I” and “good” from our vocabulary by mere omission allows for a language that can define our process.

Our process is one of linking all our skills, methods, abilities, motivations, love, anger &ldots; and all that makes us be involved with the demands of the work!

And it means doing so in the spirit of connection with each other, with the material, with ourselves and with society.

 So ALL traces of the Fascist tendency need exorcising from our process. We can’t very well develop and present a production about identifying Fascism and its demagogic embodiment whilst tolerating it in ourselves &ldots;

It is up to all our team members to:

RESEARCH

To do justice to our project it is essential every member of the UI team do research into the basic elements of the production. This means:

  •  Researching the key historical incidents referenced in the text

  • Coming to terms with the meaning and implications of “Fascism” and its historical manifestations and evidence of its psychological and sociological existence today

  • Defining our personal attitude towards the issues confronted by the text

  • Researching art, literature, news, philosophy, art pertaining to the times, attitudes, actions referenced in the text

  • Coming to grips with our own personal Fascist tendencies and need to control others to conform to our own stipulated understanding of art, technique, life, social interaction and demonstration of the psyche.

Research is the starting point for all our action in construction and resisting of the Arturo Ui in us and in our communities, societies and culture!

Each member of the Arturo Ui project will write and edit a short statement that will be printed in the program for the production. It will be a defined statement of each participant’s involvement with the creation and presentation of a work of theatre that has wider social, cultural, educational and political implications.

Research and processing of information will be an essential feature of the RESIST ARTURO UI project. It is not enough to simply learn the lines and create an entertaining performance. Each member of the team will an ambassador in the struggle against rising Fascism and demagoguery. We need to know the defining features of Fascism and how they relate to our personal and social environments as well as in the macro-political environment.

Participants might begin by studying the definitions provided at:

http://www.anesi.com/Fascism-TheUltimateDefinition.htm

THEATRE IS STILL A RELEVANT AND DYNAMIC FORCE FOR CHANGE AND CREATING AWARENESS

The relationship between art, politics, education and the individuals and the institutions who engage with the macro-universe of our themes is fragile. It is ephemeral and vital. It provides the basis for a working model grounded in more than technical knowledge, ego, nostalgia, whimsy or semantics. This relationship between the multitude of facets that make up and inform a working process demands more than the standard and possibly stale hierarchies of working methods that are taught and practiced in training institutions and management schools.

JW

BOOKING FOR THE SHOW OPENING ON 12 OCTOBER CAN BE MADE HERE.