Wednesday, 29 February 2012

How do you make product/ production/ show out of a process? Is theatre the right place?



Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

What do we mean by process? What process? There was quite a bit of discussion about what this question meant.

People shared some (bad) experiences of artists mistaking process for product, and asking an audience to engage with something that felt self-indulgent and crap. There was also discussion about visual artist’s work (eg Tracy Emin) with ‘products’ that are largely a visual display of parts of process.

There is, must be, a fundamental desire in theatre for a maker or performer to communicate something, for there to be an interaction with an audience.

We talked about a process in an expressive arts therapy context, where I have seen some of the most moving ‘performance’ work ever, full of integrity and love.

What’s the relationship of something like that to technique? We’ve all seen brilliant technical performers (cirque de soleil or whatever) but remained entirely unmoved.

So what is the technique of theatre? Maybe it’s a ragbag of all kinds of stuff, about using whatever you have got. ???

And a fundamental part of theatre is about putting in front of an audience. But you don’t have an audience as part of a rehearsal process. Its hard to rehearse a show without an audience. How do you rehearse? Things occur in rehearsal and the director’s job is to know what, in this process, is part of the show and what isn’t.

Is theatre about allowing a place for people to experience emotions? Is that pretentious?

Things happening in the moment / things happening in the recreation.

Someone recommended Mike Alfreds’ book – Different Every Night, someone else recommended watching Pam Ferris in a play (she’s brilliant apparently) and a youtube video of Veronique Doiseneau.

Someone else succinctly answered that theatre was definitely the best place to engage with an open ended process. So that was that.

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