Recent Posts by Fenella Kelly

Theatre for change – ‘Disorder contained’

Many of you will know about Brecht and Boal, and will probably have come across some other theorists or theatre companies that create theatre designed to make a specific impact, and hopefully bring about some change in ways of thinking, behaviour or spur people on to take action to bring about some sort of change in their environment or society. Brecht work for us deals with history, so we can look at this issues from a distance, and relate safely ...

Your responsibilities as a creator of theatre

The other day I went to the theatre to see the culminating performances of theatre students that had been studying devising and theatre creation at my local University. I was excited to see what they would come up with. Having spent many years working with High School students on devising processes I was intrigued to see how University level students were different in terms of choices of themes, influences, techniques, styles and use of space and production techniques. To be honest, ...

Your role as a teacher

The last month I have been assisting examiners with how to mark the Research Presentation, watching Research Presentations from around the world, then awarding the student with the fairest marks possible. Some students are excellent - enthusiastic, well prepared, engaging with their moment of theatre (clearly communicating their convention in performance), and informative. Other students are difficult to mark because we cannot hear them very well, see their moment of theatre (a tiny shadow screen a long way from the ...

The role of the mentor

At the moment I am in the midst of marking Research Presentations from around the world. It is amazing what the range of presentation styles is like, and so exciting to see students that research thoroughly and authentically, then genuinely and passionately share their findings. Some students of course just share the information without an ounce of excitement, sparkle or interest - now, you are not marked for your enthusiasm, but I can safely say that students who have enjoyed the ...

Managing the unexpected Drama class

The last few months I have been working as a freelance artists teaching in all types of places all over the world. On my travels I have encountered some rather unexpected circumstances, ones where I had been told one thing in advance, but encountered another. The other day I was recounting some of these events to a friend and she said "You must write this down, people will want to know how you did it!". So, this blog will explain ...

Using objects as a starting point

For the student blog this month I focused on how the use of the towel in 'Matthew Bourne's Early Adventures' had inspired me. To get your imagination flowing, watch the short section below that is also on the student blog. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AetGr81mIJs&list=RDAetGr81mIJs#t=45 For teachers I thought that it would be good to compile a few activities, related to theorists, that use objects as a starting point for work. Some will be old, some new, but I hope that you will find them all ...

Being inspired by a live performance

The other day I had the joy of seeing a live performance of Matthew Bourne's 'Early Adventures' at Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry. Not only was I blown away by the dexterity of the dancers, the cheekiness of the characters and the sheer brilliance of Bourne's ingenuity, but also by the unique use of starting points and props. The towelography was a high-light! This blog will look at some sections of the performance and provide some ideas for how you could base ...

Immersive Theatre strategies

For the student blog this month I wrote about how I was confused as an audience member about the expectations of the audience in an immersive piece. For the teachers blog I thought it would be helpful to look at some of the tools of the trade that have been established during the evolution of this relatively new form theatre experience. Before I go into too many specifics, let's start with the multiple roles that a student can take on during ...

Immersive Theatre – How Theatre companies do it

Last week I went to the theatre to see a play that a friend had written. It was being performed at my local theatre in Coventry, The Belgrade. As I had not taken my mum to the theatre for a while, I thought it would be nice to get her a ticket too. All we knew about the play was that that is was 'a fast-paced, energy fuelled love story for a lost generation without hope.' (taken from the Belgrade ...

Devising companies around the world

The last year I have been running month-long online courses for teachers. Part of the work includes sharing devising companies we know of. Here are some that I thought may interest teachers and students like: Chance Theater (Orange County, California) This is a company that produces both original works and established plays. Their mission: Our mission is to contribute to a more compassionate, connected, and creative Orange County. Chance Theater is dedicated to the creation of exciting theatrical experiences, taking artistic risks, and collaborating ...