The Forest and the Field is a polemical thinking-through of the whole concept of theatre as a ‘space’, and a politically motivated exploration of how, and where, that theatrical space meets the real world that surrounds and suffuses it.
The book begins by demolishing the notion of the ‘empty space’ and drawing careful and suggestive distinctions between “space” and “place.” It moves on to consider how the body—of the actor, or of the spectator—is read within the theatrical encounter, and how meaning is created in the turbulent movement of signs between performer and audience. Finally it interrogates the wider relationship between theatre and its “outside,” culminating in an attempt to answer the familiar question of whether theatre can change the world—and, if it can, how it might.
Chris Goode is a writer, director, performer and musician, and lead artist of Chris Goode & Company. His diverse body of work has been seen in venues ranging from Sydney Opera House and Tate Modern to the most marginal spaces on the London fringe. His credits include four Fringe First award-winning shows: Men in the Cities, Monkey Bars, Kiss of Life, and (with Unlimited Theatre) Neutrino; he also won the Headlong/Gate New Directions Award for his radical version of Chekhov, ...SISTERS, at the Gate Theatre. Chris is a former artistic director of Camden People's Theatre and he now directs the all-male ensemble Ponyboy Curtis.