Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925), already known as the founder of anthroposophy and of the Waldorf School, actively pursued throughout his life a strong interest in theatre, for which he invented eurythmy – a spiritual dance serving as a method to bring words and music on stage - and also for training actors. His research followed a path that went from his early experience as a theatre critic for the "Magazin für Literatur" (1898-1900) to the performances of the Berlin Drama Society, which he staged together with Frank Wedekind. In the early Twentieth Century (1907-1913), Steiner’s interests turned to Theosophy and then towards the newly conceived Anthroposophical Society, where he helped set up many lectures in which he also directed plays written by him and by other authors.From this period onward, Steiner continuously devoted himself to developing his method, working along with actors in lectures and lessons, gradually making it more structured and specific. Starting from the teaching of Sprachgestaltung (creative speech), of diction and declamation, he elaborated as series of lessons for actors. In 1924 he offered his last course, which summarized his thoughts on theatre. The specific object of this essay is the study of the anthroposophical principles that Steiner taught in his last course in Dornach and then put into practice in a series exercises for actors, aimed at developing their creativity and defining images on which characters could be built. Through meditation and Sprachgestaltung, the Steinerian actor works on the objectivity, on the justification of actions and on the correspondence between color, sound and sensation. Working in their own esoteric dimensions, actors create the character through their training on dreams and on the unconscious, outlining the character’s identity through the Sprachgestaltung.
Monica Cristini, dottore di ricerca in Studi Teatrali e Cinematografici; è cultore della materia per l’insegnamento di Storia del Teatro e dello Spettacolo presso il Dipartimento di Filologia Letteratura e Linguistica dell’Università di Verona. Studiosa di Rudolf Steiner, ha scritto Rudolf Steiner e il teatro. Euritmia: una via antroposofica alla scena contemporanea (Bulzoni, 2008); firstname.lastname@example.org