Peter Brook, Famend Stage Director of Scale and Humanity, Dies at 97

It’s his own job, he says, to encourage and enable, clarify and refine, not dictate. He ceased to plan ahead, or “prevent” movement on stage as a young director in 1946, when he went to the first rehearsal of “Love’s Labor’s Lost” with a plan. a plan that, after a few moments with the actors, he realized was absurdly inflexible and tore it up in time.

He was never known to lose his temper during training sessions, and he sometimes fell on a team full of enjoyment. But his seriousness was never questioned. For Mr Brook, theater is “a total mirror of human existence, visible and invisible”, which will challenge both performers and audiences to re-evaluate the world and their lives. surname.

Brook .’s long and global career continued well into his 90s. In September 2019, “Why?,” a play written and staged by Brook and his longtime collaborator, Marie-Hélène Estienne, debuted in Brooklyn after its Paris premiere, with a plan planned to tour in China, Italy and Spain. And a new book, “Playing by Ear: Reflecting on Music and Sound,” was published the following month.

With his blue eyes and quiet authority, Mr. Brook has an undeniable charm, although he doesn’t like being portrayed as a guru. He vehemently denied his nickname, Buddha, because he felt that he was far from attaining spiritual certainty and, indeed, he did not think that any certainty was possible. .

He was influenced by George Gurdjieff, a mystic who believed that nothing was taken for granted, that everything should be questioned and that cooperation with others was important. As Mr. Brook told The Times in 1998, “I am willing to reject my opinion, even yesterday, even 10 minutes ago, because all opinions are relative.”

Emma Bubola contribution report.

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