Theatre of Place

Last house on Holland Island, May 2010Source: baldeaglebluff, via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) The last couple of weeks I have been working with students in different parts of the world using a place as a starting point for work. This has been an interesting journey, as we have tried out many things to help us really get inside the place, the ghosts that passed through it one time and the essence of what remains. This blog will share some ideas for how ...

A Potpourri of Starting Points

The last few months I have been running a lot of online training courses for teachers and also running some face to face training for teachers new to the IB. There is one amazing resource that I am going to share with you this month and it is all the starting points that teachers have identified could be used in their courses for devising practice or suggested to the students to be used for their final Collaborative Project. In the guide ...

Devising Companies to Explore

When you start looking for a devising company that you want to explore, it helps to know a little bit about them and also have some videos of their work to watch. Over the last few weeks I have been gathering ideas from many teachers about companies they would like to explore with their students, so here are a few that you may want to look at yourself or as a class. I hope that some of these companies and ...

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, ...

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 ...