Theaterlab was unknown to most of us before we got in contact with Carlo Altomare through some friends of his that attended a performance (of Workforce/Forced Work) at the Brecht Forum in November, 2009. Carlo had done a piece called ‘The Daily Activity of Slaves’ in the mid 1970’s and I (Esther) went in to his airy 14th-street space to talk Meyerhold and political theater.
The man is extremely energetic and bursting with physical theory. This past Sunday, Carlo invited the cast of ‘The Last Dreams of Helene Weigel or How to Get Rid of The Feminism Once and For All” to Theaterlab for a workshop. All 11 of us showed up and we spent about four hours exploring Carlo’s ideas about biomechanics and jazz acting and listening to tales of the Living and Alchemical theatres.
Working with Carlo demands a focus and a tension that reminds us all what acting as an art form feels like. It’s not just craft, he reminds us, but the art of finding a balance between subjectivity and objectivity, like Artaud’s “signaling through the flames,” the body and mind on fire, but the urge to communicate reaching through the sensation.
Carlo teaches workshops. Check them out!