dismembering the text

about Grüber’s Bacchae, Schaubühne, Berlin 1974

Grueber’s production demonstrated impressively that the elements used on stage to stand in for elements of a past world are primarily related to our own world; any meaning we attribute to them concerning the past world we want to represent or revive tells more about us and our present than about the past world it is meant to represent, interpret and explain. On the contemporary stage, a revival of the ancient Greek world - or of any other past world - is impossible. No resurrection of the dead will take place here. The past is lost and gone forever. What remains are only fragments - play texts torn out of their original contexts - which cannot convey their original meaning. They are mute, distant, alien, and because of this, it is not possible to stage them as if they were contemporary plays. The past is not, in principle, accessible to us. We cannot bring about its rebirth - even when staging a text from the past. Thus the dismemberment of the text, which has to be accomplished, is due to the past”s fundamental inaccessibility. 

 The Bacchae - dismembering tradition in E.Fiscer - Lichte THEATRE, SACRIFICE, RITUAL. Exploring Formes of Political Theatre (p.233)