Richard Schechner in China 2012

Winter Institute, Shanghai Theatre Academy: 10th January, 2012, Shanghai

Discussion in street:

Schechner: Horatio isn’t just Hamlet’s lover, he’s the storyteller, he’s Shakespeare.  So they’re lovers, but also the creator and the created.  That’s why Horatio has to be present at everything.  But this isn’t apparent until the final lines.

The production in Romania was almost the same as the earlier production.  Benjamin Mosse made just one small change – which I approved of.  He changed the fight at the end, replacing the swords we used in the original production with the mops.  I think this was an improvement.

Discussion in office:

David Peng, Schechner Performance Centre: The main idea of the production was Schechner’s.  Was it collaborative? Well, there were small innovations from the cast, but actually they worked really hard to work with him.

Discussion in workshop:

Prof Gong, Vice President of STA introducing Richard: Richard Schechner is one of only three honourable professors of our academy, and it really is an honour to the academy.  STA is the only university in China that has a performance studies research centre accepted by NYU.  Richard’s achievement in art creation is well-known in our academy, and Richard’s academic and artistic creation is included in our teaching programme and our research programme. Another important project from 2006/7 is our publication of TDR China.  We have held Rasa Box workshops several times at STA.  They made such a big success that many students want to experience Rasa Boxes.  Richard is very strict on numbers, so we have had to divide into groups and we’ve invited Paula Marie Cole of Ithaca College, US, to lead one.  Paula teaches acting for realistic, physical and musical theatre and has worked with Richard for over twenty years.

Richard Schechner: What I say you must do.  You are free to leave but you must do as I say if you are here.  If it is too hard for you, sit down.  But if you sit down too often or for too long I will ask you to leave.

Paula: I want to create a safe space for you.


Paula Cole, on Rasa Boxes, to the Chinese students:  There are eight basic rasas, and then the ninth, shanta, or peace, was added later when the Buddhists came.

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