Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer


No. 1 (2021): The Origins

How ISTA Came Into Being

February 10, 2021


In this text, Eugenio Barba traces back the origins of ISTA and its first steps. After having directed several international encounters of group theatres in the second half of the 1970s (Belgrade, Bergamo, Madrid and Leiketio), in 1980 Barba was invited to organise a new encounter in Germany by Hans-Jürgen Nagel, head of the Kulturamt in Bonn. This proposition offered to Barba the opportunity to conceive the first ISTA session in October 1980, just preceded by the lecture in Warsaw where Barba presented his definition of theatre anthropology as a new transcultural field of studies. The article was originally published in The Tradition of ISTA, edited by Rina Skeel (Londrina 1994, 19-20), and in The Performers’ Village, edited by Kirsten Hastrup (Drama, Graasten 1996, 24-25).