“When I paint a picture, the process is under the control of a single “will” which eventually is called the unity of form, or the integral whole, etc.
During the creation of a theatrical performance this unity is more difficult to achieve and to keep. Images, as well as new ideas connected with special arrangement, movement, or action crowd in so profusely during rehearsals (this is greatly influenced by individual actions and the “will” of the actors) that one needs to have a clear awareness of the goal (which tends to get lost every now and again) so as not to let one’s imagination run away with him. In any event the imagination has to be put under strong control. In this case it is even more important as the performance is not built upon a literary text (a play) which… could serve as a set of guidelines and thus help in the “steering”. Reflecting on the hazards of enterprise that could bear comparison to a sea voyage with its looming shallows and shipwrecks, I have discovered a method of using a special compass. To reconstruct the memories of childhood (this is the main idea of the performance) it is not necessary to “write” the plot according to patterns we know from literature, i. e. a plot based on the idea of continuity. I HAVE ASSUMED THAT THIS IS FALSE. And I am very much concerned with the truth, i. e. with a structure that is not patched up, or mended stylistically, formally, improved by any additions or interpolations. The reconstruction of the m e m o r i e s o f c h i l d h o o d is to contain nothing more than the moments, images, or “negatives” which are retained in a child’s memory by means of selection from the enormous wealth of real facts, a choice highly significant (artistic) because unerringly getting at the t r u t h.
In a child’s memory only one feature of situations, characters, events, places and moments in time is always preserved.
… father arrives (to have his holiday), keeps swearing and packs up…
…mother always leaves and disappears, then: longing…
The whole memory of the life of a person is marked for me by a single word, a single feature.
… In the course of work on a performance, in getting ahead with the actors this method is a limitation. But a wonderful limitation! It is in fact the “compass” I spoke of a moment ago.”
Kantor, Tadeusz. Wielopole, Wielopole. Kraków-Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1990, p. 24