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 ...

A gallery of images

This week I have been working with IB Theatre students in Stratford at TaPS (Theatre and Performance Symposium) for ISTA (The International Schools Theatre Association). I had a group of 23 students that were a huge range of nationalities, ability and knowledge. As a result the work I do with them aims to equip them with skills that they can immediately apply in the ensemble session, and take back to use in their own work at school. During the three day ...

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 ...

Did you make an impact?

Recently I was working with IB Theatre students in London at an ISTA London TaPS event. We were working on the Collaborative Project and Solo Theatre Piece and playing around with the ideas of how to create theatre, but then also how to achieve our intended impact. The students drew on ideas from productions they had seen, and explained how, in plays they had seen, the director and designer had achieved moments of: TENSION EMOTION ATMOSPHERE and MEANING They not only spoke about how this impact was ...

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 ...

Starting points

The last few weeks I have been running intensive classes for students in devising theatre. The ideas I share with you may help you when you start working on your collaborative project. We spent 12 hours playing around with techniques and ideas, where we looked at devising companies and how they approached theatre. Each shared an idea related to a theorist of theatre style, and then spent 2 hours working with lights, an hour working with sound and then created a ...

Creating with the Collaborative Project

These last few weeks I have had the pleasure of working with 24 students in 4 different groups playing around with devising. We had 3 hours a day over one week to create a piece of theatre that we then performed to an audience in the last 30 minutes of the final day. For this blog I thought I would share with you how I went about working with the starting point and how I made links to theorists, theatre ...

Some plays to play with

In the last 6 weeks of the school semester I thought it would be fun and challenging for my classes to play around with some complete play texts and decide on the staging and ensemble building process. Which of course link in with the director's notebook and collaborative project. I selected 3 plays that have the entire cast involved nearly all the time, so we could play around with the work on the ensemble, group dynamics, movement and use of minimal ...