Unreflected agreement deadens the energy in a rehearsal. I do not believe that collaboration means mechanically doing what the director dictates. Without resistance, there is no fire. The Germans have a useful word that has no suitable English equivalent: Auseinandersetzung. The word, literally ‘to set oneself apart from another,’ is usually translated into English as ‘argument’, a word with generally negative connotations. As much as it would be happier with a congenial and easygoing environment in environment in rehearsal, my best work emanates from Auseinandersetzung which means to me that to create we must set ourselves apart from others. This does not mean ‘No I don’t like your approach, or your ideas.’ It does not mean ‘No I won’t do what you are asking me to do.’ it means ‘Yes, I will include your suggestion, but I will come at it from another angle and add these new notions.’ it means that we attack one another, that we may collide; it means that we may argue, doubt each other, offer alternatives. It means that feisty doubt and a lively atmosphere will exist between us. It means that I will probably feel foolish and unprepared as a result. It means that rather blindly fulfilling instructions, we examine choices in the heat of rehearsal, through repetition and trial and error.

Anne Bogart, A Director Prepares. Seven Essays on Art and Theatre

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