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Devising Theatre and Performance

Curious Methods

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Devising Theatre and Performance is a hands-on guide for artists, students and teachers of performance at any stage of their practice. It offers a wide range of creative prompts and pathways enriched with critical thinking tools and questions, a hybrid approach Hill and Paris call ‘Curious Methods’.

This is a welcome addition to the field, created and curated by two experienced artists who have operated at the international interface of academia and professional practice for over three decades.

The collection is packed with fun, creative, thoughtful exercises distilled from over twenty years of running interdisciplinary artist workshops and teaching both devising and performance making. As well providing numerous exercises and suggestions for devising, composing and editing original works, this book offers tools for giving and receiving feedback, critical reflection and framing artistic work within academic research contexts.

Readers can choose to dip in and out, to follow the book as a course or to work section by section, focusing on organizing principles such as working from the body, working with site, working with objects or performance activism. The book includes a detailed production workbook and a practice-based research workbook you can tailor to your own projects. The 'Curious Methods' approach encourages users to take the time and space their practice deserves while offering tools, nourishment and encouragement and inviting them to take risks beyond their comfort zones. The exercises are carefully described so that they can easily be tested out by readers, and are well contextualized in relation to vivid examples from contemporary performance practice and relevant political contexts. This compelling approach goes beyond many other books on theatre devising, which merely provide performance recipes; they do so by repeatedly highlighting the vital cultural relevance and potential personal impact of the experiments that they invite us to undertake.

The primary audience for this important new book will be academics, instructors and students in courses on devised theatre, improvisation, performance art, experimental performance and practice-based research. It will be essential for classroom use, for students of theatre and performance and live art – undergraduate, postgraduate and Ph.D., teachers and all those needing strategies for getting started.

It will also appeal to readers from the broader arts, humanities and social sciences who are seeking resources for integrating creative methods into their research.

Related Topics: Performing Arts

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