After-performance talk with tg STAN / ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE

After-performance talk with tg STAN


8 January 2011
Upper Stage
After-performance talk with the tg STAN collective.

Toneelspelersgezelschap STAN was founded by four actors who graduated together from the Antwerp Conservatoire in 1989. Jolente De Keersmaeker, Damiaan De Schrijver, Waas Gramser and Frank Vercruyssen did not wish to join any existing companies, in which they seemed to perceive only an excessive aestheticism, unworldly formal experiments and the hand of (all too) authoritative directors. They wanted to place the emphasis on themselves, as actors, on their own abilities and manifest failings. They wished to blow up the illusion and to focus on pure acting – if necessary in mutual contradiction –, on a highly personal and rigorous commitment to the character and the story he/she has to tell. After a few productions Waas Gramser left the group and Sara De Roo joined it. Thomas Walgrave became its regular scenographer.

Two keywords characterise Tg STAN: ‘actor-oriented’ and ‘undogmatic’. The undogmatic aspect is reflected in the name – S(top) T(hinking) A(bout) N(ames) – as well as in the repertoire. This is a hybrid collection of texts, invariably expressing social criticism, in which Cocteau and Anouilh stand side by side with Chekhov, Bernhard next to Ibsen, and comedies by Wilde or Shaw next to essays by Diderot. This diversity does not reflect the wish to offer something to suit all tastes, but rather a deliberate and purposeful attitude towards repertory building. Their confrontational working method prompts them to acquaint the most diverse audiences (preferably foreign ones, too) with their work, sometimes in several languages. In addition to the original, Dutch, version a great number of their pieces are also performed in English and/or French. This offered a new sounding board to the group: when performing in another language the words acquire a different meaning. Moreover they created several plays in a foreign language and in another country: Point Blank and Berenice were made in Lisbon (Portugal) and One 2 Life in Oakland, California (USA) – all of them in English. Les Antigones, created in Toulouse (France), was STAN's first such venture in French.


Chaired by Katia Arfara, Head of Theatre and Dance Department at the Onassis Cultural Centre

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