Peter Brook was a legendary director with the Royal Shakespeare Company (R.S.C.) in the 1960s and 1970s; Michael Boyd is the current Artistic Director. The two were recently brought together in the first of a series of discussions being presented by the Park Avenue Armory in conjunction with the R.S.C.’s summer residency.
Their talk, moderated by Shakespeare scholar and author James Shapiro, ranged from the rehearsal process to touring internationally, from working with actors, to the concept of “the hunch,” which both men described as the uncanny, vital epiphany the opens up the secrets of a play.
Peter Brook on first nights: "The fact that the first night could be a make or break is, to me, the most horrifying thing in any theatre process."
Michael Boyd on shorts vs. long rehearsal periods: "With short rehearsal periods, what you can do as an actor is bring to the party what you have … with a longer rehearsal period everyone can change the nature of the party, leave their briefcases of what they’ve got at the door, and find out what they might have."
Peter Brook on “the hunch”: "If that guiding something is there, and you really trust it, it very rarely lets you down, but it isn’t a rational process."
Michael Boyd on “the hunch”: "If it’s coming in too neat, it will probably betray you. The messier it is, and the deeper your hunch, the more it will be of use to you."
Listen to Brook and Boyd in discussion by clicking on the link above.