[Some rough notes to accompany a workshop on the stages of a group devising process used in Theatre-in-Education]
1 - Starting point
We are devising a project for .... about ......
2 - General Aim
Phrased in general terms and as a question, to reflect intentions as posing questions, exploring, raising awareness, empowering, etc. Questions, not messages. Subject to alteration after research, and indeed at any stage.
3 - Research
Emphasis on anecdotal, human evidence. Absorption by devisers is crucial. Video, pictorial, musical material as important as factual.
4 - Devising [the following elements are interwoven]
Feeding back research
Using a range of drama forms, beginning to explore form alongside content. Creating distilled versions of discoveries. Exploring feelings, attitudes as much as discovered facts.
Group dynamic, and rules for discussion are crucial. Brainstorming and similar exercises can help with equality of input. Often needs to be broken by practical exercises to maintain concentration.
Informed by research, the ground rules for the programme
Beginning with wide-ranging work, covering variety of forms as well as content. Going off on tangents can be useful, bringing up unexpected ideas. Improvisation does not necessarily mean realism.
Scripting or equivalent
Sign-post script or full script, depending on nature of project and skills of group. Difficult to improvise long speeches/monologues. It can go backwards if actors get tied to scripts at this stage.
5 - Rehearsal
Similar to the rehearsal process in any theatre form. Try outs of participatory sections must involve pupils. Performance elements too, must be tried with their intended audience.
6 - Performance etc.
May include performance, workshop, discussion, participatory elements or similar.
7 - Follow-up
With teachers, involving company or not, drama or cross-curricular work etc.