Via negativa in our work functions primarily as a principle of reducing theatre to the relationship between spectator and performer which enables us to focus on the basic principles of theatre, those which establish and set in motion this relationship and helps us to understand what it (or is not) the essence of this relationship.
The term via negativa is derived from negative theology, which as opposed to the accepted theological practice (describing, what god is), attempts to define god by negative way (via negativa) describing what god is not or rather what god cannot be. The concept, conceived in late fifth century AD, is based on the presumption that the concept of the divine is unattainable to the human experience and understanding and god can therefore only be contemplated through what god cannot be described as. This term has been introduced to theatre by polish director and theater reformator Jerzy Grotowski. He used the term via negativa to describe a method in which the actor works primarily toward discovering and overcoming the obstacles that prevent him from attaining his psychophysical perfection. But neither the theological questions nor techniques of perfecting the actor’s skill are in the focus of our interest.