How to Assess IMPACT on Your Audience

Recently I have been working with small devising companies to explore how they can obtain meaningful and accurate data to assess audience impact. I am going to give you three scenarios of their process of evaluating impact, and then how they re-worked this data gathering the second time they performed. The first performance was a ‘soft’ sharing or rather a ‘work in progress’, which is common practice for many devising companies, so they can evaluate their work before it is ...

Making an entrance – TEAM

This week I have been running a Theatre Laboratory with my grade 10 and 11 students on what we bring when we enter the stage. We are moving onto exits next week, but I thought I would share with you what they explored with entrances for this blog. We discovered that with an entrance you can establish: character mood motive environment relationships objects in the environment status atmosphere conflict story backstory other characters off stage foreshadowing subtext and more... When you are ...

Ways into Psycho-physicality

Three weeks ago I started working at a new school with a new group of IB Theatre students in their first year of the course.  As they had not heard of Stanislavsky and were not familiar with theatre theory I thought it would be good to immerse them in some practical work to understand The System. We stared with Psycho-physicality leading to MPA (Method of Physical Actions) and then they made their own connections between inner feelings and outer communication ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Resources for Realism

Recently a friend asked me what the difference was between emotional recall and sensory memory. This was an interesting one for me to answer, as ultimately they are the same thing but rooted in the ideologies of two different theorists - Stanislavsky and Strasberg. This got me thinking that for many people out there the sea of theorists that focus on realism or naturalism is vast and a hard one to navigate, particularly if you a looking for a focus ...