Yet within the theater world, it’s not Mr. Rau’s plays that are causing a stir. Instead, it’s his Ghent Manifesto, issued in May, in which he sets out how he thinks theaters should be run.
Point 1: “It’s not just about portraying the world anymore. It’s about changing it.”
Point 4 bans the performance of classics. Point 7 calls for two amateurs in every performance. (“Animals don’t count, but they are welcome,” it adds.) Point 9 says at least one production per season must be rehearsed or performed in a war zone, an attempt to bring cultural infrastructure to where it’s needed most.
Even some admirers of his plays, and fellow experimental theatermakers, have been critical. “I think it’s really old-fashioned,” Alexander Devriendt, artistic director of Ontroerend Goed, an acclaimed Belgian theater group, said in a telephone interview. “He’ll break the rules as soon as he needs to, so why have them?”
Mr. Rau’s background doesn’t immediately suggest he was destined to push boundaries. He was born in 1977; his father was a doctor, his mother a chemist. They divorced when he was young, and his mother became involved with a “quite extremist Trotskyist guy” who kept losing his job because of his views, Mr. Rau said. The family had to move repeatedly, and Mr. Rau said he changed schools “12 or 13 times.”
As a teenager, he learned Hebrew, Greek and Latin and read classical tragedies. But he moved into theater only after trying, and failing, to make movies. “My first film came to cinemas in 2002 — I was 25 — and it was a total disaster,” he said.
It was based on a story by Thomas Pynchon, the American novelist, and featured “my usual mix of violence, jokes and realism,” Mr. Rau said. “I was sure it would win all the prizes, and everybody hated it.”
Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/03/theater/milo-rau-ntgent-controversy.html329