• 2012-2013 Season,  A Wrinkle in Time

    Information on Rehearsals and Devising Pt. 2

    By Patrick Hayes, Dramaturg  In my last blog post I talked about A Wrinkle in Times’s use of performance theories. For this post I wanted to dive a little deeper into the theories and practices of devised theatre, giving you an inside scoop on the two theories that we are incorporating into our show. Many performances are rooted in the theories and practicum of two individuals. Some would say that these two people are the two most influential theatre directors and theorists in the twentieth century. Here’s a brief look at both the men and the basic ideas behind their theories. Jerzy Grotowski (11 August 1933 – 14 January 1999)…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  A Wrinkle in Time

    Information on Rehearsals and Devising Pt. 1

    By Patrick Hayes, Dramaturg Creating a performance from scratch can be a daunting task. Luckily A Wrinkle in Time has a formula for success. AWIT focuses on devised theatre practices to workshop and create the final performance. Unlike stage directions in a script or a director coaching the actors, devised theatre centers on an acting style or technique to help create the final performance. AWIT rehearsals are centered on a model of work shop and rehearsing scenes until the feel, emotion, or context for a given scene is reach. Doing this process insures the integrity of the message the company wants to convey. Here, in this scene, the actors prepare…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Reflections

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg Theater is a live art. You share an experience physically together in a space with actors, crew, and fellow audience members. Things happen differently as actors attempt to repeat actions and new audiences with diverse experiences come in and receive new things, laugh in different places, and clap (or don’t) where no one has before. That’s what is exciting about theater. You can see the same play performed by the same company over and over, but still you can experience something new. However, the problem with live art is there always comes a time when it has to die. The curtain falls on the performance and…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Post Show Discussion

    by Ariel Mitchell, Dramaturg After an amazing performance Thursday night, two of our actors gladly welcomed the audience down to ask members of the cast and crew questions about the production and participate in what we call a post show discussion. As the dramaturg, I helped to mediate as many actors jumped in eagerly to answer questions about making real people into characters that they could perform every night and the process of writing and devising a piece of theater. I think the audience members who stayed appreciated the insight and context that was given by the actors who finally were able to fill in the story behind the stories…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    2 plays, 1 night

    By Ariel Mitchell, Dramaturg There has been a lot of confusion about what The Cleverest Thief and Selections from Gone Missing is. Throughout this blog, we’ve shared our process and tried to give background about our project. But, I am remiss to say, that maybe after 10+ blog posts, readers are still unsure what this performance is. I’d like to rectify this. The Cleverest Thief and Selections from Gone Missing is a BYU main stage production of two plays in one night: Gone Missing and The Cleverest Thief. Gone Missing is a devised play (see other blog post) created by the Civilians in 2003. The members of the company went…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    An Actor’s Perspective

    by Ali Kinkade, actor and performance writer When you play around ten characters in a show, it presents a unique acting challenge. In Gone Missing and The Cleverest Thief, I play an old Russian woman, a hip social worker with a checkered past, and a BYU student with an affinity for both makeup and histrionics, among other characters. Another unique aspect of this show is that oftentimes, since interviews form the text of our show, we interacted with the people we were playing, so instead of working internally, I worked from the outside in. That sounds confusing, so here’s an example: when Michelle Williams played Marilyn Monroe in My Week…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    Fresh Air

    by Ariel Mitchell, Dramaturg Gone Missing is a non-traditional play. Instead of following a linear structure, where events build on top of each other to a climax, the play has what theater practitioners call a mosaic structure. Like a mosaic creates a picture out of miscellaneous fragments of glass and tile, the play is composed of bits and pieces of stories from lots of different characters. This allows the audience to explore a theme or see all sides of an issue. The problem with this is that sometimes, it is hard to find one story or character to hold on to. The way the Civilians accommodated for this in Gone…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    People or Projections?

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg “Devised theatre is a personal stretch for me. I didn’t choose my major because I love theatre, necessarily, but I do love the creativity that devising gives to the discipline. Building a play moment by moment is challenging and at times frustrating. The creative process for some people is very individual, but this type of creativity feeds on collaboration. I suppose that is the part I like best is the push towards creative collaboration.” -Chelsey Roberts, costume designer and performance writer One of the main goals we had for Gone Missing and The Cleverest Thief, was to incorporate new media with the traditional in a new way.…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    A Mediated Stage

    by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg An essential part of The Civilians’ process is the inclusion of media. The Civilians outline their mission as “…tackling complex and under-explored subjects, enabling artists to enrich their processes through in-depth interaction with their topics, diversifying artistic voices and audiences, and integrating theater with new media.”  Since we are following their process we are looking for a fun new way to include media into our production as well. The way we approached the set testifies to how we are striving to incorporate media. Our set designer, Noah Kershisnik, is actually a production designer. We have stolen this title from the world of film where a production…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Gone Missing/Cleverest Thief

    The Creative Incubator

    By Alec Harding, performance writer Throughout our work on The Cleverest Thief/Gone Missing project, we had set up an incomparable environment which contributed itself towards our creative process. We had, in a sense, purposely designed a “creative incubator” to maximize our potential as storytellers, actors, writers, designers, and inventors. The first step to creating the essential facilitating environment was gathering the group of participating individuals. Although one of the main goals of this project was a script, we did not just want writers creating The Cleverest Thief. At the same time, a group of actors would have been no better for devising the piece. A bunch of techies who could theatrically mediate the project would…