When we devise a piece of theatre we are changing the world.
How? By operating under a different way of working that is un-systemetizable. We are not saying here is your part or role and now how will you fill it. We are saying: who are you, what can you bring, what do you want to say? This is huge. It’s flipping the coin. Instead of telling someone what to do you are giving them permission to allow themselves to do. To be. When doing a devised piece, there is no casting process. We don’t have a “cast.” Little by little we create an ensemble. Anyone who wants to be in that room can be in that room and day after day they are actively choosing to show up and participate. Their level of involvement and the way that they articulate themselves drives the group to become a community. I do not tell that community who they are or even how to talk with one another. We make a set of agreements on ways to work and follow it. We create a common language through play. We title things so that we can use them again. So that we can communicate what we want to have happen again. To remember something that excited us. We make observations. We witness one another. It is the responsibility as a facilitator in a devised process to cultivate ways of being heard. Ways for everyone to be at their best. To acknowledge one another. And most consistently encourage a space for people to listen to each one other, even when and especially when their may be disagreements. To discover ways to move forward without forcing an outcome. To establish group ritual by noticing the repetition. To allow the work to teach you what wants to happen next. And to always remember to start where you are. To meet each other there.
This, my friends, is the kind of world I strive to live in.
- Kali Quinn