Sunday, 18 November 2007

Respose to "An Introduction to Devised Theatre" in Devising Theatre by Alison Oddey

Devise - "to contrive, plan, or elaborate; invent from existing principles or ideas: to devise a method."

I found this introduction to 'Devising Theatre' to be very interesting. It changed the way in which i view devised pieces. Prior to reading the text, I associated devising with 'frustrating brainstorming', i always pictures a handful of actors and directors standing around feeding off each others imaginations in order to come up with an idea or concept. However, i have learnt that it can be different.
"Devised theatre is not always in contradistinction to 'straight' theatre" - this quote remains in my mind after having read the text, as this seems to sum up how i felt about 'devising', trying to be too diverse and 'alternative'. And although i do enjoy improvisational work, i found companies who strive to be TOO different, slightly pretentious and flamboyant. Nonetheless, after reading the text, i have come to realize that devised work CAN be scripted, it can be naturalistic and have direction, as well as involving elements of improvisation, spontaneity and impulsiveness, which makes it so refreshing. This has given me a much deserved respect for devising theatre companies, and the way in which they've been able to penetrate the slightly closed minded and judging world of theatre.

Posted by Ailee Kemeny

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