The Empty Space
Peter Brook's book The Empty Space was a highly influential piece of work. It consists of 4 parts, each describing a version of the notion and nature of theatre. Each section is an adaptation of a speech he gave at various Universities. For this reason this book has an accessible, fluid tone.
The opening couple of sentences are extremely widely quoted:
I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all I need for an act of theatre to be engaged.
This quote has become something of a mantra for practitioners of site-specific theatre, and also for those working with devising..
The Empty Space strips theatre down to the bare bones of what performance is, rejecting the necessity for traditional theatre spaces, elements or forms in themselves, and placed a huge emphasis on the direct relationship between actor and audience. These ideas are shared with Jerzy Grotowski.