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 ...

Working with Laban technique

Recently I have been working in schools in Singapore, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, and one thing I did with the students was explore ways into theatre creation and character work using some Laban technique. This blog will outline some of the ways in to using movement as a starting point for creating work, and will also provide readers with some movement vocabulary they can use with other people they are working with. Stage 1 - Understanding your own space When working ...

Collaboration and the Learner Profile

This month in the student blogs I wrote about my current exposure to yoga Philosophy, as I have been in Dharamsala in the Himalayas of India, staying in Bhagsu, a little village just a stone’s throw from the Dalai Lama’s temple. I have just qualified as a yoga teacher and part of Patanjali’s yoga principals seemed very relevant to devising work in theatre. One of the eight essential elements of yoga practice are the YAMAS. These are the first limb ...

Using a place as a starting point

The other day I went to see the wonderful devising company HIGHLY SPRUNG working with young people. They had been running what is called a Physical Theatre fellowship, where students worked from 2 days to 2 months on devising original theatre from a starting point. The piece that grabbed me the most, for its ingenuity, was the piece based on the place that the students were from. That place is Coventry. You may not have heard of Coventry, in the centre of ...

God Out of the Machine – Theatrical Literary Devices

This week I have been training teachers in Category 1 IB Theatre in Singapore, and one thing that came up when we were looking at the Director’s notebook, is that the students do need to learn how to analyse theatre text and understand literary devices. One such device that is fun to focus on is the deus ex machina (the translation from New Latin is ‘god from a machine’). This term comes from the staging in Greek theatre where the ...