What is THE BURLINGTON THEATRE LAB?
"A comprehensive conceptual and experiential understanding of exactly what theatre’s “magic” is, how and why it happens, and what an actor has to do, and, just as importantly not do, for the magic to happen every time they step onto a stage."
~Michael Jordan Evans
Rooted deep in the sacred rituals of the Dionysian Mysteries, theatre has existed for over 2500 years. Theatre’s longevity is no mystery to anyone who has experienced its magic. There’s a palpable presence, a dynamic quality that, as Artaud said, fills the air, gripping our attention with its power and immediacy; so real and luminous an experience that for thousands of years we believed it to be inspired by the presence of a Divine Being. Impossible to describe or define, theatre’s power has to be experienced by actor and audience in the moment of its happening; of its creation. Ask anyone who has experienced theatre’s magic and they will know exactly what it is, but, ask them why it happens, or how, or what that magic actually is, or what it was exactly that they did to make it happen and they won’t be able to tell you.
Lawrence Olivier, considered by many to be one of the greatest actors of our age, once went storming off the stage in a rage after a particularly dynamic performance. “Why are you so angry?” his befuddled entourage asked him, “You were brilliant.”
“ I know!” He snapped back.
“ So why are you so upset?”
“Because”, he replied, “I have no idea why!”
And that, for him, the consummate technician, was the ultimate frustration. One shared by actors today. Theatre’s magic remains this supra-natural quasi mystical hit or miss kind of thing that only a fortunate few can make happen with any consistency. And even these few, like Olivier, don’t know what the magic actually is, or why it is, or what it is that they are doing to make it happen. No one does. That’s why we still call it the magic of theatre. Because we haven’t known. Up until now.
In the tradition of Constantin Stanislavsky, Peter Brook and Jerzy Grotowski, The Burlington Theatre Lab continues the experimental research necessary to develop a true understanding of exactly what theatre’s “magic” is, how and why it happens, and what an actor does to “make it happen” every time they step onto a stage.
Based on years of rigorous experimentation, research, analysis and testing, we have developed, (and continue to develop) a comprehensive conceptual and experiential understanding of exactly what theatre’s “magic” is, how and why it happens, and what an actor has to do, and, just as importantly not do, for the magic to happen every time they step onto a stage. Using this understanding (technique) and very effective techniques based on this understanding, we have developed (and still are developing) a universally applicable theatre technology that can be of service to all actors, no matter what style of theatre they are enacting. The Burlington Theatre Lab’s mission is to share this technology with other theatre artists until it becomes common knowledge, both in theory and application