Laboratory Sei Shônagon "The pillow book"

Christine Schmalor

About the Course

World Theatre Training Institute

AKT-ZENT Research Centre of the International Theatre Institute

Cajka Teatro d'Avanguardia Popolare Modena


for actresses

Sei Shonagon “The Pillow Book”

Artistic direction Dr Jurij Alschitz

Modena - Italy, 2 - 10 May 2018

Contemporary theatre is a theatre of new, spherical thinking, theatre of synthesis, where knowledge of many sciences freely penetrates into our system; it changes old ideas, it asks for new knowledge and experience.

The internationally acclaimed theatre teacher Jurij Alschitz invites you to participate in his laboratory to explore a specific artistic perception which he calls the “View of the Shaman”.

He invites you to open the space of intangible beauty, stillness, simplicity, and minimalism and to practice a theatre for which you need to change and to transform your usual way of thinking and acting. The guide of our journey will be Sei Shonagon’s “The pillow book”.

Teaching language: English/Italian, on stage: your mother tongue.

Working hours: 10 – 16:00 with specific training for the research on stage.

Participation fee: 450 €

The place will be reserved after the registration payment of 100 €

(non-refundable) has been made.

Please send your application with a motivation letter, a picture and CV to:

Dear colleagues,

Labyrinths, footnotes, refrains and citation fill up the modern stage. Yes, I like it. I do it. And I was busy with it as well. I am busy with the beauty of chaos, with love and passion. But, maybe because of this passionate game, or because of something that is not clear, I recently started to feel a hunger for simplicity and a keen desire to calm down the stage with the minimalism of the East, which is the master of it and definitely knows how to quench the neediness in the emptiness.

Sei Shonagon would be 1150 years old this year. She knew how to communicate with herself and with the world. One phrase. One thought. She makes one note and puts everything under the pillow. One action, one space. One time, which is perhaps repeating itself infinitely with microscopic improvisations and variations.

When I try to do as she did, it seems, or does in fact happen, that time and space become thicker and everything that is linear, flat, all that „beginning“, „before“, „middle“, „end“, „earlier“ and „later“ transform into the endless unity, into that which is spherical and stationary. The text with its fluid and complicated structure recedes into the background, hides itself, surrenders its dominant position to the Stillness. A disjointed subject with its contextual movements, variations, citation, references and allusions gives way to the Muteness. Over! Goodbye West! There is no more frontal view, when a spectator views from the cardinal point of the perspective.

There is the unified sphere of the defocused view. There is no separation of object and subject in such a view on the role, on the play. Everything is in a common sphere – an actor, a spectator, a stage and an auditorium, the play’s time and space coincide with the time of the auditorium and with cosmic time. And this sphere from immense infinite value suddenly compresses itself until infinitely small in size and something that is pulsing between a dream state and that of wakefulness. Sphere as a point. One view on it and from it embraces the world.

I invite actresses from any country to join this laboratory, which serves as preparatory research for a European - Russian - Japanese production on Sei Shonagons’ Pillow Book.

Dr. Jurij Alschitz

How To Apply

Please send your application with a motivation letter, a picture and CV to:

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