Session called by: Paul Jackson
Attended by: Paul, Tim, Lee, Kirsty and others
We can make theatre on a stage or off. Theatre is not a sealed world. Many of us are involved in permeating the boundaries – for example taking theatre into organisations or taking ideas from organisations into theatre.
Taking theatre off the stage focuses more attention on the experience of ‘the audience’. The nature of the interaction between performers and audience changes. In a comedy improvisation show, the audience are more participative when they are offering suggestions. In ‘immersive theatre’, the audience moves from location to location. In a murder mystery, they get to play scenes with the suspects. In a workshop of theatre skills, they become participants and there may be minimal stage-style performing by anyone present – even the facilitator.
Whether the cross-over is skills-building, community development or therapy, the practitioner is an ambassador for theatrical means of expression.
What remains of ‘theatre’ through these transitions? The intangible meeting the tangible, perhaps? And the need to keep the work alive, spontaneous, in the moment – the actor/facilitator staying fully awake.
Paul Z Jackson, President of the Applied Improvisation Network - http://appliedimprov.ning.com/