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Devised and Ensemble

Devised and ensemble-based theatre breaks down barriers and hierarchies between directors, writers, and performers in order to create work as a group of artists. In this section, you’ll find content about pieces made this way, thoughts from the creators, and learning on how to do it. The 2014 Ensemble Series is a great entry point.

The Latest

Asian American Directors in Conversation & Practice
Video
Asian American Directors in Conversation & Practice
Part of Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists’ ConFest Virtual Series
Monday 8 March 2021
United States
Beto O'Byrne and Radical Evolution
Podcast
Beto O'Byrne and Radical Evolution
Building Our Own Tables Episode #7
by Beto O'Byrne, Yura Sapi
10 February 2021
Collaborative Theatre-Making
Video
Collaborative Theatre-Making
The Stories Women Carry: Creative Practice of African Women from the Continent
Monday 30 November 2020
Kenya
Asian American Directors in Conversation and Practice event poster.
Asian American Directors in Conversation & Practice
Video

Asian American Directors in Conversation & Practice

Part of Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists’ ConFest Virtual Series

Monday 8 March 2021
United States

Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists (CAATA) presented the conversation Asian American Directors in Conversation & Practice livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 8 March 2021 at 1 p.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC-10), 2 p.m. AKDT (Juneau, UTC-9), 3 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC-8), 4 p.m. MST (Denver, UTC-7), 5 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC-6), 6 p.m. EST (New York, UTC-5).

ep. 7 Beto O'Byrne Radical Evolution
Beto O'Byrne and Radical Evolution
Podcast

Beto O'Byrne and Radical Evolution

Building Our Own Tables Episode #7

10 February 2021

For the last episode of this season's Building Our Own Tables, podcast host Yura Sapi talks with Beto O'Byrne of Radical Evolution, a multiethnic producing collective.

Collaborative Theatre-Making
Video

Collaborative Theatre-Making

The Stories Women Carry: Creative Practice of African Women from the Continent

Monday 30 November 2020
Kenya

Tebere Arts Foundation presented the conversation Collaborative Theatre-Makingwith The Stories Women Carry: Creative Practice of African Women from the Continent livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 30 November 2020 at 9 a.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 12 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5) / 8 p.m. EAT (Nairobi, UTC +3).

National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation
Video

National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation

A virtual weekend of conversations and workshops!

Friday 20 November 2020
United States

Art2Action and Pangea World Theater presented the 2020 National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from Friday 20 November to Sunday 22 November.

Tropical Angels A New Musical Reading poster.
Tropical Angels, a new musical
Video

Tropical Angels, a new musical

The English premiere of a work written in Chinese and English exploring different possibilities to devise translated theatre.

Wednesday 11 November 2020
United States

Musical Theatre Factory presented the Tropical Angels, a new musical reading livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 11 November 2020 at 3:30 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 5:30 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 6:30 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

zoom video chat of four people
Devised Experiments in Breaking Zoom
Essay

Devised Experiments in Breaking Zoom

6 October 2020

Carrie Klewin Lawrence and Amy Clare Tasker have a conversation about devising online, if that’s considered “theatre” or not, audience participation, and more.

zoom video chat
Breaking New Post-dramatic Ground
Essay

Breaking New Post-dramatic Ground

Wesleyan University’s The Method Gun

28 September 2020

Jean Tarbox discusses Wesleyan University’s Zoom adaptation of The Method Gun as a radical invention that invited audiences to see and interpret reality on a deeper, more perceptual basis.

graphic hands holding letters B U I L D with title text
Build from Here: The Future of Ensemble Theater with FoolsFURY Theater Company
Video

Build from Here: The Future of Ensemble Theater with FoolsFURY Theater Company

Conversations and workshops about labor ethics and project finance reform, design and technology, education, accessibility, and equity and diversity from story selection and development to casting.

Saturday 12 September and Sunday 13 September 2020
United States

FoolsFURY Theater Company presented its national convening of ensemble theater makers BUILD from Here: The Future of Ensemble Theater livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 12 September and Sunday 13 September 2020.

an actor onstage with a large projection behind them
Distanced Devotion
Essay

Distanced Devotion

Grumelot’s Game Over Brings Us Closer

30 July 2020

Barbara Fuchs writes about Game Over, a devised piece by the Spanish company Grumelot, which was a profound exploration of storytelling across multiple platforms, including Zoom, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Spotify.

two actors onstage
Creating Authentic Stories Through Collaboration
Essay

Creating Authentic Stories Through Collaboration

On Devised Theatre in the US

23 July 2020

Holly Holsinger, India Nicole Burton, Olivia Lilley, and Stefan Brün talk about devising in the United States, how each artist works differently, the future of American theatre, and more.

seven actors onstage
From México to Cataluña
Essay

From México to Cataluña

Performing Migration in Mexicatas / Realizar la migración en Mexicatas

9 July 2020

Mariela Lopez Flores speaks with Ariadna Ferreira—one of the creators of the show Mexicatas—about the realities of migration, Catalan vs. Mexican cultures, and more. / Mariela López habla con Ariadna Ferreira—una de las creadoras de la obra de teatro Mexicatas—sobre las realidades de la migración, la cultura catalana vs la cultura mexicana, y más.

Ryan Tacata and Erika Chong Shuch
Devised Theatre Class with Erika Chong Shuch and Ryan Tacata
Video

Devised Theatre Class with Erika Chong Shuch and Ryan Tacata

with playwright Lauren Gunderson

Friday 8 May 2020
United States

Playwright Lauren Gunderson presented Devised Theatre Class with Erika Chong Shuch and Ryan Tacata livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 8 May 2020 at 2 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 4 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 5 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 22:00 BST (London, UTC+1) / 23:00 CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

sheet music
To Witness
Essay

To Witness

A Proposal to Build Radical Trust across Difference in the Arts

6 November 2019

Annalisa Dias and Ronee Penoi discuss decolonizing theatre, building trust and relationships across difference, and the act of witnessing.

a group of performers outside
Theatre for Development in Malawi
Essay

Theatre for Development in Malawi

5 November 2019

Isaac Mafuel talks about Malawi’s most prevalent form of theatre, its history, and its impact and challenges.

a group of actors onstage
Apollo Meets the Climate Youth Movement on Indigenous Ground
Essay

Apollo Meets the Climate Youth Movement on Indigenous Ground

2 October 2019

Playwright and professor Theresa May talks about creating a show about the planet, Sky Woman, and the Youth Climate Movement, and how collaborating with students enhanced the development process.

two panelists seated in front an audience
Curating Freedom and Power for Women of Color in Leadership
Essay

Curating Freedom and Power for Women of Color in Leadership

26 September 2019

Linda Parris Bailey and Diane Rodriguez talk about their own leadership transitions and what’s next, gender, race, and economic barriers; documenting work; and more.

four actors in rehearsal
We Didn’t Have Any Role Models
Essay

We Didn’t Have Any Role Models

An Interview with the Founders of Wry Crips Disabled Women’s Theatre Group

21 August 2019

Michaela Goldhaber, current artistic director of Wry Crips, talks to the founding and early members of the disabled women’s theatre group about their history.

set of not every mountain
How You Make/What You Make with Kirk Lynn of The Rude Mechanicals
Podcast

How You Make/What You Make with Kirk Lynn of The Rude Mechanicals

From the Ground Up Episode #15

19 August 2019

On this episode of From the Ground Up, Kirk Lynn of Austin, Texas’ Rude Mechanicals talks about their place on the national scene and how they sustain their work as they continue to grow as artists and individuals.

actors onstage
Blurriness and Fragmentation with Julia Rhoads of Lucky Plush Production
Podcast

Blurriness and Fragmentation with Julia Rhoads of Lucky Plush Production

From the Ground Up Episode #14

5 August 2019

Julia Rhoads of the ensemble dance-theatre company Lucky Plush Productions talks to From the Ground Up about their sustaining efforts, strategies for developing work, and why the messiness of human relationships is such fertile ground for making work.

actors on an outside stage
No Screens with Ariel Fristoe of Out of Hand Theater
Podcast

No Screens with Ariel Fristoe of Out of Hand Theater

From the Ground Up Episode #13

22 July 2019

On this episode of the From the Ground Up Podcast, Ariel Fristoe of Out Of Hand Theatre talks about how their unique games and creation process translates from free experiences for audiences all over Atlanta to corporate training.

a group posing for a photo in a train station
The Aesthetic Fingerprint with Quinn Bauriedel of Pig Iron Theatre Company
Podcast

The Aesthetic Fingerprint with Quinn Bauriedel of Pig Iron Theatre Company

From the Ground Up Episode #12

1 July 2019

In episode twelve of the From the Ground Up Podcast, Jeffrey Mosser talks to Pig Iron Theatre Company co-founder and co-artistic director Quinn Bauriedel about the history and future of the company, which is celebrating its twenty-fifth year.

four actors standing upstage of a seated actor with a large radio
The Living Ticket Model with Heather Cohn and Corinna Schulenburg of Flux Theatre Ensemble
Podcast

The Living Ticket Model with Heather Cohn and Corinna Schulenburg of Flux Theatre Ensemble

From the Ground Up Podcast Episode #11

18 June 2019

In this episode of the From the Ground Up Podcast, Jeffrey Mosser talks with Heather Cohn and Corinna Schulenburg of Flux Theatre Ensemble about their Living Ticket model is making transparent how much it costs to make a living wage in the theatre. This episode was recorded live at the TCG Miami 2019 Conference on Friday 7 June 2019. 

an actor kneeling onstage before four seated actors
Artists and Otherwise
Essay

Artists and Otherwise

What Working With Veterans Has Taught Me About What Artists Have to Offer

9 June 2019

Jonathan Wei, founder of The Telling Project, writes about what he has discovered artists can do for communities through his work with veterans and military families.

actors on stage
The Audience Ensemble with Rachel Grossman and Colin K. Bills of dog & pony dc
Podcast

The Audience Ensemble with Rachel Grossman and Colin K. Bills of dog & pony dc

From the Ground Up Episode #10

3 June 2019

In this episode of the From the Ground Up Podcast, Jeffrey Mosser discusses devising audience integrated performances with dog & pony dc founder Rachel Grossman and co-conspirator Colin K. Bills.

quita sullivan
Creation is a Personal Thing (And So Is Your Grant) with Quita Sullivan of NEFA
Podcast

Creation is a Personal Thing (And So Is Your Grant) with Quita Sullivan of NEFA

From the Ground Up Episode #9

20 May 2019

In this episode of the From the Ground Up Podcast, Jeffrey Mosser and Quita Sullivan of New England Foundation of the Arts talk equity in the grant making process, and share some best practices for artists applying to grants.