A branch of surrealist ancestry goes to theatre. The first use of word 'surréalisme' goes to 1917. That revolutionary year, the poet Guillaume Apollinaire wrote 'une sorte de surréalisme' in program notes to a ballet which nearly caused a riot and described his own play Les mamelles de Tirésias as being surrealist. The ballet Parade was a collaboration between Jean Cocteau (directing), Parade Erik Satie (score), Picasso (set design), and lovers Diaghilev and Messin (choreography). Les Mamelles de Tirésias, was a successful production that explored gender and engaged in social critique through a surrealist lens was staged in 1917. It was staged a hundred years later as a surrealist opera. 

Anthropologist Victor Turner suggested that we are not Homo sapiens, but Homo performans, a performance in which we revealing ourselves to our selves. We perform gender, identities...cultural performance invites us to reflect on being and empowers to perform differently.  We performing gender, identities...our spirits are performing being human. What would it be like to collectively perform mad love for the world?

Sanctuary of Surrealism draws on Viola Spolin's notion of spontaneity: 'Through spontaneity we are re-formed into ourselves. It creates an explosion that for the moment frees us from handed-down frames of reference … Spontaneity is the moment of personal freedom when we are faced with a reality and see it, explore it and act accordingly'. Anthropologists Gretchen and Peterson (2020) suggest that when improvisation is viewed at the level of the world history rather than the person, helps to break the chains of the past and learn to become fit to found society anew. 

Surrealists, evoking the domain of the marvellous, are moving towards the sublime point, where waking and dream worlds merge. Here, holding life as a dream, dissolves contradictions, opens the scope for and gives courage for infinite improvisation, a fertile ground for societal transformation. Waking life becomes more malleable. One gains ability to de-contextualise and re-contextualise existence, create new contexts, new situations, affect situations, which gives power – the ability to affect situations and transform lived experience.

Rather than of following Aristotelian route reflection, surrealist theatre is draws on methectic, that is initiative, participatory, and ritualistic ways of performing lineage. Play is a conduit for rising above traditional dichotomies and antinomies, where dreams, desires, chance, and mad love to make soul stew to share. Sanctuary of Surrealism nurtures cultural performances that evoke theatre of dreams, of the otherwise... when those who experience the performance think – 'This was a weird and wonderful dream' – the performance is done right. 

Let us braid dream and waking worlds, 
sail as kinship, our dream-ship 
across the seas of mad love 
to archipelagoes of surrealism.