ATRAAL Theatre
BP.37, 2 Bis rue de Béruselle
94161 St.Mandé, France
tel.: 00-33-1-43980064
fax: 00-33-1-43650942

George BAAL - founder of ATRAAL Theatre -, was born in Hungary; he has been living in France since 1956, for 30 years in Paris. He holds a French state doctor's degree in medical research, he is doctor of clinical psychology and was, until recent times senior research director at the French National Center of Scientific Research.
During his 42 years work he changed research fields many times, so he got in touch with biology, genetics, psychology, Hungarian and French avant-garde literature, theatre theory, and theatre and movement therapy. He was teaching at Sorbonne, the New York University and several other universities in France and in the USA.
His psychoanalytical knowledge is linked with his theatre work: that means, his experimental theatre has a psychological orientation. This led him to the development of a unique theatre-therapy method, which seemed to be very effective, especially on the field of drug addiction.
George Baal with ATRAAL has devoted some performances to the Hungarian literature. He has translated into French surrealistic plays of Tibor Déry, The Pessimistic Comedy of Árpád Göncz; some years ago he edited an anthology of Hungarian avant-garde literature of the twenties and thirties. He arranged four evenings at George Pompidou Center devoted to the Hungarian literature. The reading variation of Madach's Tragedy of Man could have been seen there, among others.

In last two years he devoted all his time and energy for drug addicts and ex-drug addicts and the creative work with them.
George Baal is scientist an artist, psychoanalytic and director, therapist and actor at the same time. He speaks about what theatre can learn from psychoanalysis, speaks about the sources of theatre, the role of the actors and spectators, the way from the microbiology to the drug addicts. As a theatre therapist he uses the movement, dance, voice, text, emotions, situations; he works with the individual, with couples and groups; he shows the dynamics of oppositions through his practice, through his training.
The ATRAAL Theatre, founded 30 years ago and directed since by George Baal, is a non-profit cultural institution situated in Paris and involved in activities of several fields especially theatre, therapy , research and education.

As for its performances to be shown for the public they were composed on classical or modern, mainly poetical texts, using special movement- dance- and voice-techniques, and improvisations; the ATRAAL plays at big and small theatres, in open-air spaces performances based on movement improvisations as well.

As an experimental theatre it has been performing in French works of Lautréamont, Artaud, Beckett, contemporary French authors; it has been working as a dance and improvisational theatre as well. Its performances, created in France, toured all around the world: Paris, New York, Barcelona, Helsinki, Genova etc.
As an additional activity, artists of ATRAAL usually held theoretical lectures and workshops for actors. Before the public appearance, thy have a long period of experimental work on theatre theory, the psychological analysis of actors' role, the new ways of connecting theatre and therapy, and development of methods of theatre therapy. In the last 20 years the ATRAAL was working with psychiatrists, psychologists, ballet dancers, actors, prisoners, drug addicts, mentally ill persons etc.
At the same time ATRAAL developed the theory and practice of drama-therapy, and therapy by non-verbal expression in the fields of mental care and psychiatry. Lately this work was extended to the field of drug addiction: therapy with addicts, rehabilitation and social integration, prevention both in France and in Hungary.

The most popular current performance of the ATRAAL is 'Maldoror' (according to Lautréamont); Maldoror is the victim of pain, cruelty and suffer. Maldoror is the evil itself, the demon, but he is the burning desire - the desire for knowledge, as well. Maldoror is the Man. Me, you, and the world, the sky, the earth, the sea, the ocean the storm and the flash; it means smells and colors, the creatures of God and Devil.

Five actors of ATRAAL performed 'The songs of Maldoror' after 2 years of work. This was the play, which has been keeping alive the creative attitude of the group for a long time, and it gave them success.

Ten years later the Leo Amici Foundation (Komló, Hungary), then the Podane Ruce (Bohemia) and the Station Group (Budapest, Hungary) choosed this play as the basis of theatre therapy work, because the world of Maldoror was very close to young people obsessed by drug abuse or the fight against it.
It is a fact, that with the proper direction, Maldoror can make miracles in therapeutical communities, in the spirits of those taking part in therapies and on the stage as well. This is a "directed miracle" created by George Baal and his actors, friend and followers.