Devising Theatre: A Practical and Theoretical Handbook by Alison Oddey

By Alison Oddey

"Devising Theatre" combines a severe research of up to date devised theatre perform with descriptions of chosen businesses, and recommendations for any staff devising theatre from scratch. After deciding on the original nature of this sort of functionality, the writer examines how devised theatre is perceived by means of expert practitioners, and gives an historic assessment illustrating the way it has developed because the Nineteen Sixties. She appears on the specific operating practices and items of a few expert businesses, together with a memory theatre for the aged and a theatre-in-education crew, and provides rules and workouts for exploration and experimentation.

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Sample text

Devised theatre is a contemporary reflection of culture and society. It is continually addressing new theatrical forms, making original contributions out of the existing interests and considerations of the time. It is about the relationship of a group of people to their culture, the socio-political, artistic and economic climate, as well as issues or events surrounding them. Devising allows for a constant re-definition of theatrical performance, and for work to begin from any starting point. Choice, opportunity and infinite possibility set devised theatre apart from conventional play text production.

Group analysis is required, which ultimately leads back to self-examination and self-criticism. The pertinent point must be that the strength of devised work is in its method of working, and of giving significance to the process itself. The group defines and controls its own conditions of progress, thus offering opportunities of working that no other theatre can provide. 26 HOW AND WHERE TO START WHY DEVISE? What, then, are the central concerns for a group devising theatre from scratch? Are they considerations of form, content or audience, which must be decided in order of importance or relevance to the particular project?

Founder member Mark Long states the belief that 'At some point in the creative, collaborative process, you do arrive at a group certainty. That is not to say that you are all necessarily driving towards exactly the same objective, but there is a line of agreement/ 1 The People Show has always had a strong underlying philosophy of everyone having a definite visual comprehension of costume and set construction, as well as an understanding of building and lighting. The work has always been very technical, involving use of props and effects.

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