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About the Company | Bios | Chronology

ABOUT THE COMPANY

From its inception, Theatre Du Jour has concerned itself with the questions of actor training, the process of performance creation, and the meeting between actors and audience through performance. It is this proposing of questions and desire to discover rather than the certainty of answers that has guided the company’s development. Rigorously avoiding adherence to any “method” of work, the members of TDJ rely upon these propositions, these questions, to fuel their daily physical research -- a constantly evolving experiment that seeks to bridge the gaps between the actor’s training, the creation of performance and the performance itself.

The research began in 1982 when B. Stanley and George Kaperonis founded the company in Washington, DC. They intended their work to exist outside the American mainstream – performances built in equal part on text written by Kaperonis and physical staging devised by Stanley. As the group expanded, the codified scores of action that had been built for performance (specific, detailed and repeatable), became the focus of the company’s actor training. Within this laboratory of training, these scores of action began to reveal a correlation between the actor’s execution of the score and the emergence of the creative moment – the actor’s impulse to action. But how to access this impulse throughout the actor’s entire process? Though Theatre Du Jour performed hundreds of times in theaters, clubs, festivals, studios and on the streets during this initial five years of work, the training discoveries remained separate.

The company’s research was furthered by the influence of Ingemar Lindh and the Institutet for Scenkonst in Pontremoli, Italy. At the Institutet from 1989-93, Stanley encountered the accessing of the actor’s impulse, not in pre-determined scores built by a director for performance, but in scores built, rather, by the individual actor in his/her training. These training scores (the actor’s personal material) were then developed by the director into performance material. The creation of performances at the Institutet were always a collaboration between actor and director. But the question remained: How can the actor carry the work of training through his/her entire process, into performance?

In 1994, Theatre Du Jour re-emerged with a determined commitment – learning to learn. The company continues its research with the understanding that the questions that the actors and director encounter are the work of theatre, and that it is important to maintain a sense of experiment and research throughout the entire process -- from training to performance creation to the performance itself. And Theatre Du Jour continues to perform. The company also continues to ground its work in rigorous physical and vocal training. Through its continued inquiry, Theatre Du Jour is more than experimental theatre; it is an experiment within theatre.


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