Devising Beauty: A Pedagogy for Devised Theatre
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This Professional Problem Dissertation presents a particular method for devising theatre using an educational model. The project addresses a significant gap in scholarship: although it has garnered considerable attention in the United Kingdom, devised theatre is relatively little known in the United States, where it is also referred to as collaborative collaboration. In particular what is lacking in this scholarship is a pedagogy which prepares the students to create an original performance. Madeline Hunter’s seven aspects of a lesson plan can be utilized to facilitate a discussion of the issues involved in creating theatre from a group perspective. Hunter’s seven aspects, in combination with other tools such as Viewpoints, a movement/voice technique, were crucial to my creating and teaching my own course in devised theatre. Devised theatre, which usually originates from the participants, offers the potential advantage of involving students with issues central to their own experiences in order to create a performance which affects their lives and those of the people around them. At the same time, it requires the instructor to adopt roles not always common in educational settings – those of guide and facilitator, for example. Curriculum design is thus a key component; this study augments theoretical approaches to curricular issues with an explanation of the actual realization of lesson plans, rehearsals, and performances. I have also created an assessment and evaluation of the course with perspectives from the audience, students, and the instructor. In conclusion, this new model of devising theatre stimulates collaboration, group problem solving, collective artistic creation, and individual and group reflection on the part of the participants. Devised theatre deserves implementation as an innovative pedagogical method that promotes the development of fundamental educational objectives.