Devised Theatre Essay

1112 words - 5 pages

“Devised theatre can start from anything. It is determined and defined by a group of people who set up an initial framework or structure to explore and experiment with ideas, images, concepts, themes, or specific stimuli that might include music, text, objects, paintings, or movement.” (Alison Oddey 1). Devised theatre, also called collaborative creation, is a form of theatre in which the script is created through a collaborative process with the actors and the playwright, rather than the traditional method of theatre with a premade script. Devised theatre is created through the process, collaboration, and multi-vision of the group. Similar to improvisational theatre, a devised theatre play ...view middle of the document...

Devised theatre did not start out as a rejection of the traditional methods, but rather a response to the director-performer dynamics. This theatre form highly values physicality, rather than the traditional forms of theatre that focus more on the literary texts and language involved with the play.
The Ghost Road Company was started in 1993. The company premiered their first play in 1995, Eloise: A Ghost Play. The Ghost Road Company has put on such devised plays as: Home Siege Home, Orestes Remembered, and Stranger Things. Many of their plays are inspired by classic works, such as The Oresteia, or other literary texts. The company takes a piece that they are inspired by and incorporates modern theatrical elements, such as multi-media. Their latest play, The Bargain and the Butterfly, is inspired by Nathanial Hawthorne’s short story The Artist of the Beautiful, which explores the dichotomy between genius and madness. The company holds many workshops, sometimes in other countries, to get a feel for a new work. The latest trip the company took was to Warsaw, Poland, to research and perform their new work. The Paper Birds Theatre Company’s motto is “to imagine what could be by exploring what is”.
Another notable devised theatre company is New Paradise Laboratories (NPL). NPL was founded in 1996, by Whit MacLaughlin, along with several founding company members, and an ensemble of collaborators. NPL describes itself as an “experimental performance ensemble that explores radical means of expression to bend and reshape conventional ideas of theatre.” What sets them apart from other companies is their use of different creative strategies such as company-devising techniques, cross-media design elements, and site-specific installation. They have a main goal in mind for their audience as well- to stimulate their creative and intellectual lives. They do so by using tools and techniques of internet connectivity in a profound way. NPL strives to engage the audience’s sensory perception in new ways that are somewhat startling when first viewing their pieces. In Prom, NPL uses exceedingly bright, almost blinding, light and loud music to employ the audience’s senses. In NPL’s play 27, the plot focuses on what happens in the afterlife and purgatory, utilizing iconic rock stars that all belong to the infamous 27 club. The use of live music, singing,...

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