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Background: Peter Brook

Peter Brook

Peter Brook, who was born in 1925 in London, cemented his reputation in the 1960s as a director of Shakespearean productions, including A Midsummer Night's Dream and King Lear, for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Before he settled in 1971 in Paris, he spent three years in Africa. Brook's acclaimed work also spans opera and film, including Lord of the Flies and Marat / Sade. He is the author of numerous books, including the landmark The Empty Space and a memoir, Threads of Time.

The problem today is not one of restricting the theatre to any single group of spectators. On the contrary, it is a matter of making theatregoing a necessary experience and consequently a social activity that is essential to a community as a whole. This cannot be achieved by popularising the theatre in a naive way. This cannot be achieved by adapting the theatre to the tastes of its audiences. It can not be achieved either by limiting the theatre to the expectations and criteria of an elite.

Such a theatre can only be created on the basis of a new audience with the intention of serving all those members of a community who see theatre as a possibility for themselves of renewal.

Peter Brook (1970)

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Gregory Mosher

Gregory Mosher's relationship with Peter Brook goes back to 1975, when he went to Paris as a student and watched rehearsals at Brook's Bouffes du Nord theater. Gregory Mosher then discusses Peter Brook's longtime interest in Africa.

On rehearsals in Paris

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Brook and Africa

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Voza Rivers

Harlem Arts Alliance chairman Voza Rivers met Peter Brook in the 1980s when he was doing South African theater in Harlem.

Meeting Peter Brook

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Readings

Read excerpts from Michael Kustow's new book, Peter Brook: A Biography, to be published by St. Martin's Press in March 2005. (PDF)