The tree of performance knowledge: Eugenio Barba

Adam Ledger, Annelis Kuhlmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Ledger and Kuhlmann take as their point of departure Odin Teatret’s Clear Enigma, performed once only at the group’s fiftieth anniversary (2014), to suggest the roots of an original historiographic approach, or shape, to a discussion of Barba’s work. Embracing Barba’s occasionally paradoxical approaches, the authors’ non-chronological, rhizomatic-like account unfolds from a central concern with Barba’s production The Tree (2016), providing a point of connection to the various ‘branches’ of his work since 1964. Barba’s understanding of dramaturgy as a keyword for theatre making is set against the ‘Country of Speed’ and a landscape metaphor for the exilic condition of ‘Third Theatre’ organisations. Barba’s intercultural practices are assessed, and the chapter considers Barba’s status as a researcher and author, published in multiple languages. The authors incorporate notions of the ‘living archive’ and legacy, but Barba’s theme of death, a paradoxical condition of theatrical life, concludes the chapter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Great European Stage Directors
Subtitle of host publicationGrotowski, Brook, Barba
EditorsPaul Allain, Simon Shepherd
Place of PublicationLondon
Pages145-202, 221-232, 236-237
Number of pages72
ISBN (Print)9781474254168 (set), 9781474253987
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2018

Publication series

NameGreat European Stage Directors

Bibliographical note

Imprint: Methuen Drama.
This publication will be translated and published in Italian as
L'albero del sapere della performance: Eugenio Barba (CuePress, forthcoming)


  • Actor
  • Training
  • Dramaturgy
  • Score
  • Ensemble
  • Research
  • The Third Theatre
  • Interculturalism
  • ISTA
  • Publication


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