The living, breathing moment when an original thought, an idea, an opinion that is part of you, becomes a story, expressed through your actions and words. It’s that moment. When your heart is beating out of your chest and you prepare to step out on stage in front of hundreds — maybe thousands — of eager-eyed spectators.
This is devised theatre.
Devised theatre is the unique combination of spontaneity and planning. It is also the opportunity for participants to explore their perception of the world, as individuals and a group, and express that to an audience.
In this style of theatre performance, the whole creative team, from actors to technicians, develops a show collaboratively, making each performance an original work. Ideas may come to collaborators from music, media, current events or other stimuli that may breed creativity.
“Devising is a process of making theatre that enables a group of performers to be physically and practically creative in the sharing and shaping of an original product that directly emanates from assembling, editing, and re-shaping individuals’ contradictory experiences of the world,” explained Alison Oddey in her book Devising Theatre: A Practical and Theoretical Handbook.
Many times these performances revolve around a social issue, or trending topic in the news, which is exactly the case for William Woods University Bachelor of Fine Arts students’ upcoming performance.
This team of individuals performed their own devised theatre production called #YesAllWomen/#NotAllMen on December 3-5 in Dulany Auditorium on-campus in Fulton, MO.
The performance was inspired by the Twitter feed #YesAllWomen, a discussion and a movement standing against sexual harassment and rape culture. #NotAllMen is a response to the feed that argues that not all men are the enemy and that women need them as allies, too.