Since 2006 I have worked with Carlos García Estévez several times, both as a participant in his workshops and as a dramaturgical collaborator on several of his laboratory sessions. Those experiences have highly enriched my understanding of theater.
Working with Manifesto Poetico – the laboratory that Carlos runs together with Paige Allerton – has deepened my understanding of acting as a physical and cognitive craft. I believe such practical experience is not only important for actors and directors, but also for writers and theatre scholars, who should never forget that the theatre is first and foremost a performer's art.
Carlos and Paige direct their workshops, performances and research sessions with great playfulness and humor – all the more striking is it to discover how elaborate and sound the study behind their work his. Their research is deeply rooted in the tradition of actors' training as it has been developed by theatre pedagogues like Stanislavski, Grotowski, Brook, Barba and – of course – Jacques Lecoq, Carlos' direct teacher.
Over the past years, I have noted how Carlos became more and more interested in the theatrical space and the interaction between the actor's body and the space surrounding him / her. One of the remarkable characteristics of this latest phase of Manifesto Poetico's research is its powerful combination of abstraction and concreteness: on the one hand, there is the analysis of the abstract (spatial and temporal) qualities of theatre, and on the other, the ongoing attention for the concrete physical particularities of the arts of acting and storytelling.
I would like to highly recommend the work of Manifesto Poetico to all who are dedicated to the practice or study of theatre. I know that this laboratory will be a valuable partner to theatre companies, art centers and educational institutions and I can assert that working with Carlos and Paige will be a far reaching, precious experience for any artist or scholar.
Wout van Tongeren
dramaturg & editor
Dutch National Opera & Ballet
department of education, participation & programming
Amsterdam, the Netherlands