Physical Theatre & Verbatim Theatre - creating dynamic performance Amy Clare Tasker, 13 January 2016 WHERE THIS SESSION CAME FROM Amy and Verity called two separate sessions and then combined them… Verity is creating a physical piece as part of the third year of her degree in Theatre Design and wanted to find out about young companies making exciting work. Amy is a director/maker developing a verbatim piece incorporating movement and original music. (www.amyclaretasker.com/hyphenated) She was keen to speak to others about dynamic ways to present verbatim material, while respecting the work of traditional verbatim theatre makers (which can be very static.) THANK YOU TO GAVIN, JOSEPH, NICO, SUSIE, PIA, and TINA FOR JOINING US. REFERENCES & RESOURCES book: Frantic Assembly Book of Devising Theatre book: The Choreographer's Handbook (Jonathan Burrows) PRACTITIONERS Frantic Assembly Complicite DV8 (physical and verbatim) - John, Can We Talk About This?, Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men Alecky Blythe - London Road (verbatim musical film), Little Revolution, The Girlfriend Experience Akram Khan, London-born Bangladeshi director - Zero Degrees Dan Canham, Still House Ultima Vez Anna Deveare Smith - Fires in the Mirror, many others Gecko @EdFringe Big Mouth - verbatim piece with political speeches Parkinsons Master Class on Sky Arts - with Akram Khan Fuerza Bluta Political Mother @ Brixton Academy Clod Ensemble Luke Thomas (couldn't remember the name of the company) Paper Birds @ Ed Fringe Simon McBernie - the Encounter, Tell Them That I'm Young & Beautiful, The Master & The Margarita The Faction @ New Diorama Theatre Camden People's Theatre Chelfish - Japanese playwright/company with opposite movement - 5 Days In March Robert Wilson - Einstein & The Electric Beach Teatr Zar (Poland) Double Edge Theatre (Boston) Kneehigh Nostalgia (film) by Andre Tarkovsky Nicolas Kent (Tricycle) Aleeky Blythe Chris Goode Guy Bar-Amotz @Jasmine Vardimon Company OBSERVATIONS formula of major successful devising companies being copied by younger companies - derivative work Lack of SPACE as a barrier to young companies finding their own methods and voices Is is possible to define the genre of “physical theatre?” Isn't all theatre physical? Process: blocking out movement/images/tableaux before writing the script Tools: wider array of expressive tools - movement tells a story just as much as text (sometimes a different/opposite/complementary story or subtext) Multisensory tools - food onstage/ “smell design” “Object theatre” led by design/physical environment Physical theatre makers often work closely with designers from an early stage - light, space, objects Physical theatre shows can travel very easily - a reduced language barrier English theatre can be a lot of “talking heads” - actors losing the connection between mouth and body, so that when textual meaning is lost, all meaning is lost. Balance between visual/physical and textual information. Is there a threshold over which we cannot absorb any more information? Difficulty of making a living doing physical theatre. Too “niche.” DRAMATURGY IN PHYSICAL THEATRE Gavin is doing a PhD on dramaturgical practices in dance theatre Invaluable to have dramaturgy in physical/devising projects different points of view of the director and dramaturg - valuable to separate these roles. Dramaturg as “the first audience member” giving feedback without knowledge of rehearsal conversations/shorthand of creative team Dance dramaturgy different from literary dramaturgy? Finding the rules of what the structure can be - rather than guiding the piece into Aristotelian ideals or “the well made play” INFLUENCE VS ISOLATION Japanese practice of isolating oneself for 6 months or a year, in order to find individual voice (Pia, what was the word you used to describe this?) Artist/company retreats - working in the woods or off on a farm, not seeing other work distance vs isolation - solo reflection, objectivity, singularity of vision sometimes requires quiet alone time. Is this practice at odds with the collective experience of theatre going and theatre making? Do we lose the connection with the audience? SCALE & SUCCESS How does scaling up the profile/scope of the company affect the work? Funding, recognition, expectations? Some discussion of companies whose early work was incredible and subsequent productions lacked the same spark. Tags: physical theatre, designer, director, DIRECTOR, verbatim theatre, dramaturg, Designer, Director Comments: 1 Nico Pimpare, 25 January 2016 My friend Luke's company is called “Snippet Theatre Company”.