An Interview on the Theatrefolk Podcast on Devising and Physical Theatre

In August I spoke to Lindsay Price from Theatrefolk, a Canadian-based website which is absolutely packed with resources for drama teachers. (If you’ve never had a look, go there now.)

Lindsay not only managed to ask some great questions that helped me transport myself to many years ago, when I used to teach physical theatre, but she’s also included a transcript of the interview in the blog post, which means, if you want to find out what we talked about right now but you’re not in a place where you can switch on your audio, you can have a read.

I loved that Lindsay picked up on my obsession with allowing people to take risks and make mistakes – her introduction is great, reminding us that we should celebrate failure during the devising process, hopefully it’s just taking us a little bit closer to what we want to create.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should celebrate people making mistakes because they’re careless, or because they just don’t care. I’m talking about congratulating those that take risks, those that try something new, those that say, “You know what, I’m going to try this and if I feel clumsy, or I feel stupid or if I just think, oops, that was the wrong choice,I’ll just stop, think about why it didn’t work and get on with the next option.”

Theatrefolk_Episode-110
Picture from the Theatrefolk website.

Lindsay mentions that she uses the term “collective creation” which I find much more interesting than “Devising”. Can we call it this in the British curriculum, please?

We talk about how the experience of devising goes way beyond creating a piece of theatre. The pride that comes with completing a piece, the responsibility we need to take to create it. The importance of “gathering” before we start to create, to allow things outside of our minds to influence our work .

Of course, in talking to someone else, we often discover things about ourselves, so I even got some insight into myself.

I learnt what my practice was about when I started teaching others.

So, if you have half an hour during which you can listen to the podcast, do go over to the Theatrefolk website. And while you’re listening, have a look at the range of resources that Lindsay and friends have to offer.

And also, notice how she pronounces my name, she gets it absolutely right!

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