An inspiring, practical handbook for anyone working with young people to make devised theatre.
Devising theatre is a fundamental element of the Drama curriculum, but managing the process is often demanding, difficult and challenging. It can lead even highly competent Drama teachers to feel disempowered. However, help is at hand, whether you're a novice coping with your first exam season, a non-specialist or a veteran in need of some fresh ideas. Making Theatre provides a framework that will take the stress out of the process, and help your students realise their full potential.
Joss Bennathan answers the common questions raised by Drama teachers, such as:
- What is the best way of grouping my students?
- How do I manage and monitor several groups reheasing simultaneously?
- How do I include the erratic attender without jeopardising the work of the others?
- What degree of directing and guidance is appropriate?
He shows how to build the foundations that underpin devised theatre, and provides ten invaluable structures to meet the needs of different students, regardless of their level of skills. These structures will help you to ensure that your students avoid shallow, clichéd work and demonstrate their understanding of the relationship between style, content and form. There is a diverse range of stimulus material including song lyrics, prose extracts, verbatim testimony and artwork, all reproduced in this book - and also available to download and print.*
The book includes a range of stand-alone exercises covering key areas, including:
- Voice and movement
- Scene transitions
- Narrative economy and clarity
- Performance conventions
*The downloadable stimulus material for Making Theatre is available from this page - click the 'Downloadable file' link above to access it now.
'Invaluable... clear and practical... a must for your bookshelf'
‘a thorough working knowledge of theatre-making with young people, along with a clear understanding of the limitations of working towards an examination, the potential difficulties of managing the work with young people and the pitfalls that may be encountered by any teacher devising for an audience. [Bennathan’s] exercises and frameworks should go a long way towards guiding the less experienced teacher through these potential traps and will undoubtedly provide fresh inspiration for those with more experience.’
'A godsend... sound, informed advice, pitched at the right level without being condescending or patronising... I'm so glad this book is now on my shelf. I bet you'll love it too.'
Joss Bennathan was a freelance theatre director and writer. After a career as a drama teacher and head of Drama, he became a drama-in-education advisor and inspector. He was also Artistic Director of Present Moment theatre company, and directed regularly at various drama schools. He died in 2014 at the age of 56.