Design and devising ideas

Very soon you will be working on your PPP or starting to try out ideas for a collaborative project. Both of these tasks require you to CREATE from a stimulus and have original ideas. The most challenging aspect of this task is to formulate the ideas for a story line, characters, space and set.

This blog will focus on what you can draw on for your inspiration and from your life. The PPP and collaborative project require you to draw on what you have seen – what you want to imitate, what you are inspired by and what has had an influence on you.

I will include my own observations from my trip to Rajasthan in Northern India to give you ideas about how you can use your own life experiences to fuel your own work.

Personal photo taken at a puppet show in Jaisalmer

Personal photo taken at a puppet show in Jaisalmer

The photo above was taken a couple of weeks ago at a Jajasthani puppet show in Jaisalmer, India. For my PPP or Collaborative project I could do any of the following to enhance my work or fuel my ideas:

  • research the use of puppets
  • create my set design based on the construction of the puppet theatre
  • be inspired by the colours of the set, costumes, musicians, space
  • base my own costumes on those of the puppets costumes, the turban of the puppeteer
  • take ideas for my own live music from the accompanying live music
  • I could base my lighting or set design on the lighting of and architecture of the location

All of these things are valid and valuable sources in a PPP as it is rooted in practical theatrical research, as a spectator.

Photo taken in the Rajastani desert on 24 Dec 2014

Photo taken in the Rajastani desert on 24 Dec 2014

The photo above is of Rajastani dance done in the desert with live musical accompaniment on drums with vocals. From this experience I could draw on for inspiration:

  • The setting of the performance – in the middle of the desert at night
  • The lighting of the performance – illuminated only by the light coming from the large camp fire
  • The man dressed as a woman to perform the sensual dance
  • The balancing act of the metal bowls on her head to feed the storyline
  • The tight ensemble of musicians sitting on the sand behind
  • The costumes, colours and the way the sequins catch the light – to inspire my own set or costume designs.

So, I hope that you have found these inspirational. As students, theatre creators, devisors and directors you need to start gathering inspirational moments from your own lives to draw on in your theatre creation. A teacher of mine once said that as a director you need to be a sponge, someone who sees everything and forgets nothing. I hope you enjoy gathering and applying your own inspirations to your work.

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