RESOURCES FOR

THEATRE-MAKERS

The Midlands has a lot to offer theatre-makers who live and create work in the region. There are artist development schemes, touring networks, work-in-progress scratch platforms and a huge variety of festivals showcasing new work.

This page contains information, resources and articles about what’s on offer.

REGIONAL PROGRAMMING DATABASE

Confused about how best to approach venue programmers?

In partnership with In Good Company, we’re pulling together the programming policies and preferences for every venue in the region. The Regional Programming Database is an opportunity for programmers to be honest and transparent about how they work, and in return, we encourage theatre-makers to use the information provided wisely and with respect.

Check back soon as we add more venues to the database.

VISIT THE PROGRAMMING DATABASE

ARTIST DEVELOPMENT

The flagship artist development programme in the Midlands is In Good Company (IGC). Based at Derby Theatre, and consisting of a network of ten partner venues, IGC is transforming the way venues work with independent theatre-makers. Alongside IGC, many venues offer their own development schemes and opportunities.

The Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton offers a range of development opportunities for local theatre-makers. The venue is committed to offering genuine development and pathways to employment for local performing artists and theatre-makers where possible within the capacity of the venue and the in-house team.

The Arena Theatre is also a partner venue of In Good Company.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

The Belgrade Theatre is committed to providing a range of opportunities to develop the theatre talent of the future. In 2015 it established the Springboard initiative to support early-career theatre-makers based in Coventry and surrounding areas.

In each round the initiative offers training opportunities, office space, mentoring, communications advice and fundraising support to a group of theatre-makers and companies during the delivery of their productions and events.

Website

Birmingham Dance Network is the go-to support network for independent dance artists, choreographers and teachers who work in and around Birmingham. The network creates opportunities to connect with other artists, choreographers and teachers. In partnership with DanceXchange, they offer weekly professional classes which are led by a combination of local, national and international teachers and companies.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

The Foundry is Birmingham REP’s development programme and aims to identify, nurture and develop new stories, new voices and new artists from the West Midlands. The programme offers year-round support to writers, theatre-makers and directors. Artists receive mentorship, have access to the staff and resources of The REP and have budgets to make, share and test work.

Website

Curve Theatre in Leicester offers a range of development opportunities for local theatre-makers. These include the Curve Resident Creatives scheme in which artists have the opportunity to develop their skills while making new work in partnership with Curve, an annual festival of new work, and Curve Connect – a free membership scheme open to all theatre-makers from the Midlands.

Curve Theatre is also a partner venue of In Good Company.

Website

DanceXchange is a Birmingham-based dance organisation dedicated to making and showing great dance. They set out to involve artists and the wider community in their work and offer a regular programme of training and classes. DanceXchange is based at Birmingham Hippodrome.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Founded by graduates of the Applied Performance course at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Graduates Unleashed consists of young creative graduates who curate a rolling programme of events and training activities for other early-career arts graduates.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

In Good Company is the flagship professional creative and business development programme for theatre-makers and companies in the Midlands, providing mentorship, business support, resources and high-profile performance opportunities.

IGC is based at Derby Theatre and its network of partner venues includes: Arena Theatre (Wolverhampton); Attenborough Arts Centre (Leicester); The Brewhouse Arts Centre (Burton-on-Trent); Curve Theatre (Leicester); Lincolnshire One Venues; New Diorama (London); Nonsuch Studios (Nottingham); Nottingham Playhouse and The Old Library (Mansfield).

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Read our interview with Ben Anderson (In Good Company’s Creative Producer) here.

Amplify is Nottingham Playhouse’s artist development programme and a hub for artists where ideas can be shared, challenged and grown. The programme offers mentoring and performance opportunities. Every February Amplify has a sister festival to showcase performances and works-in-progress made by artists who live in or originate from the East Midlands.

Nottingham Playhouse is also a partner venue of In Good Company.

Website

Since 2015 the National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF) has joined forces with The Place, Take Art and China Plate to launch an innovative initiative for making and touring dance performances to and for rural areas. Originally a 3 year project, the Rural Touring Dance Initiative has now been extended for a further 3 years making the project live until summer 2021.

Website | Facebook

ARTIST DEVELOPMENT SPOTLIGHT

In Good Company's Logo

“What marks out In Good Company is that they began by asking artists what it was they wanted and needed rather than simply telling them what they had planned for them, and the scheme continues to consult.”

– Lyn Gardner, Theatre Critic

In Good Company is the flagship professional creative and business development programme for theatre-makers and companies in the Midlands, providing mentorship, business support, resources and high-profile performance opportunities. In Good Company has transformed how artists and venues communicate and co-create exciting new performance platforms, commissions and touring networks.

IGC is based at Derby Theatre and its network of partner venues include: Arena Theatre (Wolverhampton); Attenborough Arts Centre (Leicester); The Brewhouse Arts Centre (Burton-on-Trent); Curve Theatre (Leicester); Lincolnshire One Venues; New Diorama (London); Nonsuch Studios (Nottingham); Nottingham Playhouse and The Old Library (Mansfield).

IGC is run by Ben Anderson (Creative Producer) and Sophie Hack (Administrator).

VISIT IGC’S WEBSITE
FIND IGC ON FACEBOOK
FOLLOW IGC ON TWITTER
In Good Company's Creative Producer Ben Anderson
READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH IGC’S BEN ANDERSON

PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES

From sharing early ideas to showcasing more developed work, there are plenty of opportunities to test, interrogate and get your work in front of peers, programmers and audiences across the region.

Meeting monthly in their Tilstone Studio, Arena’s Collaborative Theatre-Makers is a chance to get work seen in Wolverhampton.

The event follows a basic scratch night format where local theatre-makers can share anywhere between 5 and 40 minutes of any work-in-progress, at any stage of the creative process.

Month: Rolling Programme
Genre: New Work / Regional Artist Development / Work-In-Progress

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook

Bite Size and its sister festival First Bite exist to support, commission and showcase new work from the Midlands. Curated by China Plate, the activity runs across four public events and includes a fully supported commissioning process for three regional theatre-makers. Bite Size features mostly work-in-progress showcases, some of which are commissioned by China Plate and venue partners. The developed pieces are then presented at First Bite.

Month: Varies
Genre: New Work / Regional Artist Development / Work-In-Progress

WebsiteTwitter | FacebookInstagram

Formerly known as Inside Out, Curve Theatre‘s New Work Festival supports and showcases the most dynamic and exciting talent from the Midlands.

Month: October
Genre: New Work / Regional Artist Development / Work-In-Progress

Website | Twitter | Facebook

In Good Company, the flagship artist development programme in the Midlands, curates two festivals each year.

Check-In is a two-day mini-festival at Attenborough Arts Centre in Leicester featuring performances, networking, discussions and workshops. It precedes the Departure Lounge Festival which takes place in July at Derby Theatre.

Month: April
Genre: New Work / Regional Artist Development / Work-In-Progress

Website | Twitter | Facebook

In Good Company, the flagship artist development programme in the Midlands, curates two festivals each year.

Departure Lounge is a four-day festival at Derby Theatre featuring performances, networking, discussions and workshops. It comes after the Check-In Festival at Attenborough Arts Centre in April.

Month: July
Genre: New Work / Regional Artist Development / Work-In-Progress

Website | Twitter | Facebook

The Amplify Festival is sister to Nottingham Playhouse‘s Amplify artist development programme.

It aims to showcase performances and works-in-progress made by artists who live in or originate from the East Midlands.

Month: February
Genre: New Work / Regional Artist Development / Work-In-Progress

Website | Twitter | Facebook

The Party Somewhere Else create events in Nottingham that showcase work where women / non-binary artists have at least 50% of the creative agency. Events include scratch and open mic nights, and an annual festival, all curated by a Nottingham-based collective of maverick creatives who happen to be women.

Month: May
Genre: New Work / Regional Artist Development / Women & Non-Binary Led Theatre / Work-In-Progress

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Running for seventeen years, PILOT Nights is the region’s flagship work-in-progress and scratch platform. The regular event provides a space where theatre-makers can develop their practice and try out new ideas in an informal and supportive atmosphere.

The PILOT Nights events remain an important part of the creative landscape for the independent theatre sector in the Midlands. Open to artists from across the UK, the events take place in venues across the Midlands.

The programme is managed by a team of theatre-makers and producers, and for each event this core team is joined by a guest Co-Pilot who helps with the curation of the night.

Month: Rolling Programme
Genre: New Work / Regional Artist Development /Work-In-Progress

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Read our interview with Jo Gleave from the PILOT Nights team here.

Shoot Festival is an annual artist-led festival which showcases the best of Coventry and Warwickshire’s up and coming talent.

Month: April
Genre: New Work / Regional Artist Development / Work-In-Progress

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES SPOTLIGHT

Pilot Nights' Logo

“PILOT Nights was a huge help for me developing ‘Beating McEnroe’. The team and audience were super supportive. Alongside all the constructive and enthusiastic feedback after the performance, I left my PILOT Night feeling motivated and excited to take ‘Beating McEnroe’ on to the next stage of development. Thank you.”

– Jamie Wood, Theatre-Maker

Running for seventeen years, PILOT Nights is the region’s flagship work-in-progress and scratch platform. The regular event provides a space where theatre-makers can develop their practice and try out new ideas in an informal and supportive atmosphere.

The PILOT Nights events remain an important part of the creative landscape for the independent theatre sector in the Midlands. Open to artists from across the UK, the events take place in venues across the Midlands.

The programme is managed by a team of local theatre-makers and producers: Rochi Rampal, Pippa Frith, Jo Gleave and Amahra Spence. For each event this core team is joined by a guest Co-Pilot who helps with the curation of the night.

VISIT PILOT NIGHTS’ WEBSITE
FIND PILOT NIGHTS ON FACEBOOK
FOLLOW PILOT NIGHTS ON TWITTER
The Pilot Nights Team
READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH JO GLEAVE FROM PILOT NIGHTS

SUPPORT NETWORKS

Across the region there are lots of formal and informal opportunities to network and connect with peers working in the sector. We’ve also highlighted some national networks that theatre-makers might find useful.

Black Theatre Live is a pioneering national consortium of eight regional theatres, committed to effecting change for Black and Asian touring theatre. Led by Tara Arts (London), the consortium includes Derby Theatre, Key Theatre (Peterborough), The Lighthouse (Poole), Queens Hall Arts (Hexham), Stratford Circus Arts Centre (London), Theatre Royal (Bury St Edmunds) and Theatre Royal (Margate).

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Culture Central is a collective voice and development agency for culture and the creative industries in Birmingham and the wider region.

Website

At the very heart of the East Meets West network is a community Hub. It’s an online space (away from the distractions of other social media platforms) where theatre-makers can meet and share knowledge with others working in the Midlands’ independent theatre sector.

Request to join, or sign into the Hub here.

A Twitter list curated by Little Earthquake and populated by members of the Midlands’ independent theatre sector. Visiting the list is a great way of seeing a snapshot of what we’re all currently up to.

Twitter

The Independent Dance Management Network is a dance producing network offering shared knowledge, professional development, training and advocacy.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

ITC is a membership organisation which represents, supports and develops the professional independent performing arts in the UK. They provide a wealth of advice on management, financial and legal matters, peer learning, training opportunities and a professional network.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

MAIA is an artist-led platform for creative practice, critical thinking and social change. Connecting artists, communities, design and policy, they work to build infrastructure, relationships and opportunities that support artists and creative capacities.

Website | Facebook | Instagram

A member-led organisation that works strategically with partners to develop work and deliver high quality art experiences that strengthen rural and other communities. NRTF provides training, information and networking services.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

OutdoorArtsUK is a national membership and strategic organisation that aims to bring together the many diverse parts of the outdoor arts sector. OutdoorArtsUK celebrates the wonderful work, amazing talent and tremendous achievements of the brilliant individuals, companies and organisations working in this most accessible of art forms.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

PiPA is a support and advocacy network for parents and carers in the Performing Arts. Led by The Old Vic, PiPA brings together a consortium of theatre industry bodies and unions including Actors’ Children’s Trust, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, Dundee Rep Theatre, English Touring Theatre, Equity, Family Arts Campaign, Hull Truck Theatre, ITC, One Dance UK, Mercury Theatre Colchester, National Theatre of Scotland, Spotlight, Stellar Quines Theatre Company and UK Theatre.

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook

Informal and relaxed gatherings for those working in the Midlands’ independent theatre sector. Organised by Ali Belbin and Rochi Rampal.

Facebook

IT’S ALL HAPPENING
ON THE HUB

At the very heart of the East Meets West network is your community Hub. It’s an online space where you can meet your sector soulmates, share knowledge and ask for help. With beautiful profiles, a community events diary, dynamic activity feeds and messaging, it’s time to take the work out of networking.

The Hub is free to join, and entirely private. Only other members of the network can see your profile and posts. You can access the Hub on the web, and there’s also an App for iOS and Android.

JOIN OR VISIT THE EAST MEETS WEST HUB

MORE SIGNPOSTS

READ, WATCH & LISTEN

LIBRARY FOR THEATRE-MAKERS

Complicite’s Notes On Devising

Aimed at teachers, but useful to theatre-makers, this pack introduces exercises which will prepare you to create a devising process which is specific to the theme or material you have chosen. It aims to show how to achieve the progression from small improvisations, games and exercises to tackling larger topics, themes and improvisations.

PDF Document

A Beginner’s Guide to Devising Theatre
by Jess Thorpe & Tashi Gore

A Beginner’s Guide to Devising Theatre, written by the artistic directors of the award-winning young people’s performance company Junction 25, is aimed at those new to devising or wanting to further develop their skills. It explores creative ways to create original theatre from a contemporary stimulus. It offers a structure within which to approach the creative process, including ideas on finding a starting point, generating material, composition and design; it offers practical ideas for use in rehearsal; and it presents a grounding in terminology that will support a confident and informed approach to production.

Hive Link


Creating Worlds: How to Make Immersive Theatre
by Jason Warren

A practical guide to creating successful immersive theatre productions, by an experienced theatre-maker and practitioner.

Placing the audience at the heart of a production – not as passive bystanders but as active participants – is the impetus behind the hugely varied work of leading immersive theatre companies such as Punchdrunk, OneOhOne and Hobo Theatre. Done well, it can generate powerful, gut-level emotional effects that will long outlast the production itself.

Creating Worlds offers a step-by-step breakdown of the entire journey towards making an immersive theatre production, and covers everything you need to consider.

Hive Link


Devised and Collaborative Theatre: A Practical Guide
by Tina Bicat & Chris Baldwin (foreword by Clive Barker)

This text is written for all companies, student and professional, who are interested in non-text-based theatre and aims to shine a practical light on the passionate business of the devising process. Suggestions and advice include getting started and developing trust and communication within the devising company, how to research and use the results to stimulate ideas and discussion in the rehearsal period, and encouraging, channelling and developing ideas in the rehearsal room. Discovering and incorporating the unexpected in rehearsal and how to stop talking, start playing and develop the performance for an audience is also explored. In addition, backstage and design work, complete with sample checklists, raising money and organising budgets is also covered.

Hive Link


East Meets West Recommendation
Devising in Process
by Alex Mermikides & Jackie Smart

Devising in Process examines the creative processes of eight theatre companies making devising-based performances. Companies covered include: The People Show, Station House Opera, Shunt, The Red Room, Faulty Optic Theatre of Animation, theatre O, Gecko and Third Angel.

The authors were granted unusual access to the rehearsal room, enabling them to provide unique insights into how ideas evolve and develop, how strategies and methods are applied and how roles and relationships are structured.

Hive Link


Devising Theatre: A Practical and Theoretical Handbook
by Alison Oddey

Devising Theatre is a practical handbook that combines a critical analysis of contemporary devised theatre practice with descriptions of selected companies, and suggestions for any group devising theatre from scratch. It is the first book to propose a general theory of devised theatre.

Hive Link


Devising Theatre with Stan’s Cafe
by Mark Crossley & James Yarker

Since it was founded in 1991, Birmingham-based theatre company Stan’s Cafe has garnered an international reputation for artistic innovation, and prolific, eclectic performance projects. Embracing site-specific, immersive, durational, non-text-based as well as scripted work, Stan’s Cafe’s portfolio defies simple categorisation.

Running through all their work however is a collaborative devising process that champions a playful experimentation with form. Devising Theatre with Stan’s Cafe reveals and reflects on their theatre-making process, providing an illuminating and accessible account of their work and the approaches, techniques and philosophies which underpin and inspire it.

Hive Link


East Meets West Recommendation
Dorothy Heathcote on Education and Drama: Essential writings
by Cecily O’Neill

Dorothy Heathcote MBE was a unique educator whose practice had a vital influence on the international development of Drama in Education. For more than half a century she inspired generations of teachers and educators all over the world by her original and authentic approach to teaching and learning.

This new collection of the essential writings of Dorothy Heathcote traces the development of her practice over her long professional life. It combines the most important and influential articles from the first edition with more recent pieces to show the significant development in Heathcote’s thinking and practice.

Hive Link


Drama Games for Devising
By Jessica Swale

Jessica Swale provides invaluable insight and experience in a series of exercises and games designed to free up creativity and release the imagination.

Hive Link


Drama Games for Rehearsal
by Jessica Swale

This dip-in, flick-through, quick-fire resource book offers dozens of ideas and exercises to energise and inspire a bold, creative rehearsal process for any play, of any period or genre.

Hive Link


Encountering Ensemble
by John Britton

Encountering Ensemble is a text for students, teachers, researchers and practitioners who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the history, conceptual foundations and practicalities of the world of ensemble theatre. It is the first book to draw together definitions and practitioner examples, making it a cutting edge work on the subject.

Hive Link


Ensemble Theatre Making: A Practical Guide
by Rose Burnett Bonczek & David Storck

Ensemble Theatre Making: A Practical Guide is the first comprehensive diagnostic handbook for building, caring for, and maintaining an ensemble. Successful ensembles don’t happen by chance; they must be created, nurtured, and maintained through specific actions. Achieving common goals in rehearsal and performance requires group trust, commitment and sacrifice. Ensemble Theatre Making is a step-by-step guide to these processes.

Hive Link


The Frantic Assembly Book of Devising Theatre
by Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett

As Frantic Assembly move into their twentieth year of producing innovative and adventurous theatre, this well-loved book demystifies the process of devising theatre in an unusually candid way. Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett offer an intimate and invaluable insight into their evolution and success, in the hope that sharing their experiences of devising theatre will encourage and inspire students and fellow practitioners.

Hive Link


East Meets West Recommendation
Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre
by Keith Johnstone

In this landmark work Keith Johnstone provides a revelatory guide to rediscovering and unlocking the imagination.

Admired for its clarity and zest, Impro lays bare the techniques and exercises used to foster spontaneity and narrative skill for actors. These techniques and exercises were evolved in the actors’ studio, when he was Associate Director of the Royal Court and then in demonstrations to schools and colleges and ultimately in the founding of a company of performers called The Theatre Machine.

Hive Link


East Meets West Recommendation
Impro for Storytellers
by Keith Johnstone

Since the sixties, Keith Johnstone has led the work on improvisation in theatre, schools and universities.

His unique ideas, set out in the classic text, Impro, have now been taken up by practitioners the world over. Impro for Storytellers builds on and extends the seminal earlier work. Keith’s techniques specialise in releasing an individual’s potential within the context of group work.

Hive Link


Improvisation in Drama
by Anthony Frost, Ralph Yarrow

Improvisation in Drama was the first book to offer a unified view of work central to most drama training.

This new edition includes extended coverage of practitioners to include Boal, Meisner, Michael Chekhov and Jonathan Fox; updated assessments of Keith Johnstone, Eugenio Barba, Dario Fo, Jerzy Grotowski and Jacques Lecoq; extended coverage of women practitioners, non-western theatre, developments in “long form” improvisation and live-action role play; and more practical examples with fuller descriptions.

Hive Link


The Improvisation Game: Discovering the Secrets of Spontaneous Performance
by Chris Johnstone

This is a fascinating and provocative investigation – with exercises and techniques – into the wellsprings of improvisation in theatre, dance and music by the author of House of Games.

Eight years ago, Chris Johnstone wrote House of Games, in which he looked at how improvised games could provide the fuel for drama. That book hit a chord and, several thousand copies later, is still very much in print. In his new book, Johnstone wants us to consider improvisation not as a step towards something else but as an end in itself. And so he embarks on a journey through the wacky – but actually deeply serious – world of improvisation in theatre, dance, music or any mix of these.

Hive Link


Improvisation for the Theater
by Viola Spolin

This work has inspired the work of countless actors, directors, and writers in theatre, television and film.

Spolin’s improvisational techniques have changed the very nature and practice of modern theatre. This third edition updates the more than 200 now-classic exercises and adds 30 new ones. It adds 30 traditional theatre games that are frequently used as warm-ups.

Hive Link


Making Contemporary Theatre: International Rehearsal Processes
by Jen Harvie & Andy Lavender

Making Contemporary Theatre reveals how some of the most significant international contemporary theatre is actually made. Eleven different writer-observers describe, contextualise and analyse the theatre-making practices of eleven different companies and directors, including Japan’s Gekidan Kaitaisha and the Quebecois director Robert Lepage.

Hive Link


Making Site-Specific Theatre and Performance: A Handbook
by Phil Smith

This practical, accessible and far-reaching guide to making site-specific theatre and performance emphasises the diversity of approaches to the practice, and explores key principles of space and site. Phil Smith draws on a wide range of interdisciplinary and international performance examples, and uses an innovative variety of exercises, to show students and aspiring performance-makers how to find a site and generate a performance beyond the theatre building.

Hive Link


A Practical Guide to Ensemble Devising
by Davis Robinson

This comprehensive handbook introduces techniques and exercises for devising theatre as an ensemble. Its clear style makes it an ideal book for students new to devising, while its wide scope provides fresh ideas for more experienced actors.

Hive Link


Telling the Truth: How to Make Verbatim Theatre
by Robin Belfield

A practical guide to creating and producing verbatim theatre, by an experienced theatre-maker and practitioner. Verbatim theatre is fashioned from words actually spoken by real people in real situations, and reproduced by actors in performance.

An increasingly influential form of theatre, it has a unique ability to present stories from unfamiliar sources and bring unheard voices to the stage.

Verbatim theatre is perhaps the most objective way of dramatising real life; its authenticity helps audiences to understand the world we live in, whether through testimony, eye-witness accounts or autobiography. Telling the Truth offers a step-by-step breakdown of the entire process of making your own verbatim-theatre production, covering everything you need to consider.

Hive Link


Theatre Games: A New Approach to Drama Training
by Clive Barker

Theatre games are a method of training actors (and devising theatre) that was developed in the 20th century by leading practitioners including Clive Barker, who trained actors at Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop in its heyday.

He developed his “theatre games” system over 20 years and proved its effectiveness for teachers, students and actors alike. His famous book combines his philosophy and approach to games, describes how to play them and the acting skills which can develop out of them.

Hive Link


East Meets West Recommendation
Then What Happens?: Storytelling and Adapting for the Theatre
by Mike Alfreds

A practical investigation into story-theatre and the art of telling stories through theatre, by the renowned director who founded Shared Experience Theatre Company.

In Then What Happens?, Mike Alfreds makes the case for putting story and storytelling back at the heart of theatre. He explores the whole process of adapting for the stage, and investigates the particular techniques – many of them highly sophisticated – that actors require when performing ‘story-theatre’.

The book includes over two hundred exercises, improvisations and workshops dealing with the practical aspects of story-theatre, such as building an ensemble, creating a physical vocabulary, and transforming written narrative into drama.

Hive Link


East Meets West Recommendation
Why Is That So Funny?: A Practical Exploration of Physical Comedy
by John Wright

Comedy is recognised as one of the most problematic areas of performance. For that reason, it is rarely written about in any systematic way.

John Wright was original founder of Trestle Theatre before establishing his current company, the acclaimed Told By An Idiot. He therefore brings a wide range of experience of physical comedy to this, his first book, a unique exploration of comedy and of comedic techniques.

The first part of the book is about the various kinds of laughter that can be provoked by performance. The meat of the book consists of games and exercises devised to demonstrate and investigate the whole range of comic possibilities open to a performer. The result is a deeply but satisfyingly provocative book, in which every assertion in this most subjective of fields is put to the practical test.

Hive Link


Writing in Collaborative Theatre-Making
by Sarah Sigal

This engaging text explores the role of the writer and the text in collaborative practice through the work of contemporary writers and companies working in Britain, offering students and aspiring writers and directors effective practical strategies for collaborative work.

Hive Link

Bechdel Theatre Podcast

Alison Bechdel, the creator of the iconic Bechdel test (and the writer of the graphic novel Fun Home which was made into the also iconic Tony Award-winning musical) is namesake for Bechdel Theatre’s regular podcast, hosted by Beth Watson and Pippa Sa. Debating representation and gender within the arts, Watson and Sa have some pretty incredible guests on previous episodes including award-winning writer Isley Lynn, the brilliant Katie Leung and Kae Alexander, and the entirety of RashDash Theatre Company.

Website


Frantic Assembly Podcast

Hosted by Artistic Director Scott Graham and Practitioner Jonnie Riordan, the Frantic Assembly Podcast provides an insight into the company and welcomes a dialogue into theatre-making and performance.

Website


The National Theatre Podcasts

These podcasts explore how theatre connects to the big issues of our time: sex, death, politics, and everything in between. Go behind the scenes to investigate the artists and the ideas behind some of the most interesting, recent productions, and go out into the world to find theatre at play in our everyday lives.

Website


The National Theatre Talks

A collection of conversations recorded live from the National Theatre stages, including interviews with actors, directors and playwrights.

Apple Podcast Preview

National Theatre: Creating Chorus – Building Choreography

In this film on creating chorus, movement director Aline David leads a group of actors through exercises used during rehearsals for the National Theatre’s production of Antigone. Here she demonstrates how repetitive movement sequences can be created to accompany the Classical Greek text.

Youtube


National Theatre: Creating Chorus – Leading Exercise

In this film on creating chorus, movement director Aline David explores leading exercises with a group of actors. Using simple follow and repetition techniques Aline shapes individual actors into an ensemble, forming physical sequences for choral movement on stage.

Youtube


National Theatre: Creating Chorus – Pace Exercise

In this film on creating chorus, movement director Aline David takes a group of actors through pace exercises, and shows how changes in speed can be a tool to isolate important characters. Aline also demonstrates how movement direction can shift the audience’s focus to suit the demands of the play.

Youtube


National Theatre: The Frantic Method – Building Blocks for Devising

Gain an unrivaled insight into Artistic Director Scott Graham’s working methods and see how you too can devise your own movement-led work, quickly and simply.

Youtube


National Theatre: The Frantic Method – Creating Choreography

Gain an unrivaled insight into Artistic Director Scott Graham’s working methods and see how you too can devise your own movement-led work, quickly and simply.

Youtube


National Theatre: Movement Direction – Creating Character

Vanessa Ewan leads this movement direction masterclass, guiding an actor playing Nora from A Doll’s House using techniques to explore physicality and enhance character transformation.

Youtube


National Theatre: RashDash – Devising Masterclass

Helen Goalen and Abbi Greenland of theatre company RashDash lead this movement masterclass, incorporating techniques that can be used by students in the devising process.

Youtube


National Theatre: Spymonkey – Devising Masterclass

Toby Park of theatre company Spymonkey leads this improvisation masterclass, exploring ways to uncover comedy through the process of devising.

Youtube

François Matarasso: Parliament of Dreams & A Restless Art

Two websites that are full of insights from François Matarasso, the master of community arts.

Parliament of Dreams | A Restless Art 

CREATE
DIGITALLY

During the current Covid-19 crisis, theatre-makers are being asked to reconsider how they create and distribute their work. This can come with considerable cost implications (tech equipment and some pieces of software aren’t cheap) as well as a need to upskill.

Theatre-maker Paul O’Donnell has been working with In Good Company to create a collaborative list of free software and training around making digital work.

VIEW THE DIGITAL RESOURCES SPREADSHEET
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