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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

The Wildcard Workbook: Why Forum Theatre and Why Now?
Essay
The Wildcard Workbook: Why Forum Theatre and Why Now?
by Katy Rubin, Sulu LeoNimm, Liz Morgan
15 November 2022
Disability
Podcast
Disability
by Zsófi Kozma, Bíborka Béres, Kata Kopeczny, Ádám Fekete, Ferenc Kálmán, Dorka Farkas
5 October 2022
Improvisation
Podcast
Improvisation
by Zsófi Kozma, Bíborka Béres, Ernő Zoltán Rubik, Viola Levai, Zoltán Grecsó
28 September 2022
The cover of a book called The Wildcard Workbook: A Practical Guide for Jokering Forum Theatre. It is purple and yellow.
The Wildcard Workbook: Why Forum Theatre and Why Now?
Essay

The Wildcard Workbook: Why Forum Theatre and Why Now?

15 November 2022

Theatremakers Sulu LeoNimm, Liz Morgan, and Katy Rubin discuss the process of co-authoring The Wildcard Workbook, a guide designed to help others in the field delve into Theatre of the Oppressed practices and devised theatre processes.

PUHA Podcast Teaser.
Disability
Podcast

Disability

5 October 2022

In this week’s episode, hosts Bíborka and Zsófi focus on different abilities and handicapped people in the performing arts. Translating their guests’ responses into English, the co-hosts sit down with independent theatremaker, poet, and dramaturg Ádám Fekete; and the core members of the ArtMan Association, Dorka Farkas, Kata Kopeczny, and Ferenc Kálmán, who work with integrated dance and movement practices to produce amazing contemporary dance shows.

Round headshots of speakers on a yellow background with podcast title
Improvisation
Podcast

Improvisation

28 September 2022

In this episode, co-hosts Zsófi and Bíborka talk about the practice and art of improvisation with three outstanding figures from the Hungarian contemporary dance and jazz scene: Zoltán Grecsó, a dancer, choreographer, and founder of Budapest’s improvised dance evening series Willany Leó; Viola Lévai, a dancer and teacher of contact improvisation; and Ernő Zoltán Rubik, a musician, composer, dancer, and an active member of the Hungarian free jazz and contact improvisation scene.

Several actors sitting at two different tables on stage.
No Borders’ Feast: A Reckoning at the Royal Court/On the Square
Essay

No Borders’ Feast: A Reckoning at the Royal Court/On the Square

26 September 2022

verity healey speaks with Polish theatremaker Nastazja Domaradzka about No Borders, an arts program she created in collaboration with the Royal Court Theatre in London that prioritizes migrant artists’ experiences and voices.

Five people on the beach gesturing towards the setting sun.
We Are All Kin to the Cove Brings Climate-Engaged Community Performance to Queens, New York
Essay

We Are All Kin to the Cove Brings Climate-Engaged Community Performance to Queens, New York

22 September 2022

Talia Rodriguez details the generative process for We Are Kin to the Cove, a site-specific, community-engaged performance exploring the historical and contemporary relationships water and humanity at a cove on New York’s East River.

event poster for break through, participatory experiment in hybrid community convening.
BREAK/through Convening
Video

BREAK/through Convening

A Participatory Experiment in Hybrid Community Convening Offered Online and in Philadelphia

Monday 25 July 2022
Philadelphia, PA

Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) presented BREAK/through, a participatory experiment in hybrid community convening offered in Philadelphia and livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Monday 25 July 2022 from 7:30 a.m.-12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. EDT (Philadelphia, UTC -4).

Two visitors admiring a wall mural.
How We Did It: Collecting Oral Histories to Preserve the foolsFURY Legacy
Essay

How We Did It: Collecting Oral Histories to Preserve the foolsFURY Legacy

30 June 2022

As a part of their permanent closure, San Francisco-based theatre company foolsFURY embarked upon an ambitious oral history project. Emily Weak, the archivist employed for that project, shares the process and insights of an initiative that worked to collect dozens of individual experiences of the company and provide a sense of closure.

2022 TCG Conference in Pittsburgh event poster.
2022 TCG National Conference: Pittsburgh
Video

2022 TCG National Conference: Pittsburgh

Redefining Our Art. Transforming Our Practices. Tending to Our People.

Thursday 16 June to Saturday 18 June 2022
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Theatre Communications Group (TCG) presented the 2022 TCG National Conference: Pittsburgh livestreaming on the commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network from Thursday 16 June to Saturday 18 June 2022.

Kunafa and Shay Teaser Image.
Creating the Change: Featuring Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi
Podcast

Creating the Change: Featuring Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi

With Raymond Bobgan and Omar Kurdi

18 May 2022

MENA artists continue to work hard to create representation in large theatrical arenas by pushing for their work to be produced on contemporary stages. However, since some major theatres only allot 1 or 2 slots a year for plays by BIPOC artists, and MENA artists have frequently been ignored. They have found other ways to create thriving artistic spaces for actors, directors, and playwrights alike. Masrah Cleveland Al Arabi has created a space for MENA artists to thrive. This artist-led organizational infrastructure serves as an example of how change can be made within existing theatrical structures. Today we are joined by Raymond Bobgan and Omar Kurdi.

A performer on stage with white, out-stretched wings.
Stories: Mirrors of Identity
Essay

Stories: Mirrors of Identity

12 April 2022

Theatremaker Sonia Carmona shares the impact storytelling can have on empowering marginalized groups of people from her own experience working on Roots and Wings, a HUMAN library from the Poligono Sur.

From the Ground Up Podcast image featuring Mara Isaacs.
Connecting Collaborative Passion to a National Network
Podcast

Connecting Collaborative Passion to a National Network

15 February 2022

Tony Award-winning producer Mara Isaacs discusses how she puts collaboratively creative work in front of national audiences through her producing organization, Octopus Theatricals. This final episode of season two holds hot takes on boards, theatricality, and the connective tissue around artist-centered producing.

Three people on stage, one standing directly under a spotlight.
A Song of Ourselves: Playing out the Pandemic in The Bahamas
Essay

A Song of Ourselves: Playing out the Pandemic in The Bahamas

1 February 2022

Nicolette Bethel reflects on the creation and significance of Competent Authority, a play that focuses on the COVID-19 pandemic in The Bahamas.

From the Ground Up Podcast image featuring David Catlin.
Growth Through Touring and Tension
Podcast

Growth Through Touring and Tension

12 January 2022

Founder, Ensemble Member, and Former Artistic Director of Lookingglass Theatre Company, David Catlin, shares how their limitless aesthetic showcases their Chicago-based artists across the country. In addition we dive into their unique shared leadership model, their growth and goals for the future, and how tension with your board members can be a good thing.

From the Ground Up Podcast image featuring Michael Rohd.
Civic-Minded and Morally-Guided Practices
Podcast

Civic-Minded and Morally-Guided Practices

5 January 2022

The job of the facilitator, the logic of shared leadership, and how it all translates to directing a process. Michael Rohd stands at the forefront of ensemble-based practices equipped with questions about how we create the future that we want to be working in socially, civically, and artistically. Join us as we unpack and define what’s next.

From The Ground Up Title.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Resident Ensemble Theatre: UNIVERSES
Podcast

Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Resident Ensemble Theatre: UNIVERSES

22 December 2021

Alison Carey, formerly of Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Mildred Ruiz-Sapp and Steven Sapp, co-founders and artistic directors of UNIVERSES, discuss putting ensemble producers inside a major producing entity and the capacity necessary for things to fall into place.

From the Ground Up Podcast image featuring Rachel Dickstein.
Process Performances and the Completion Commission
Podcast

Process Performances and the Completion Commission

15 December 2021

Rachel Dickstein, Artistic Director of Ripe Time, takes us through her experience with Center Theatre Group’s completion commission for their adaptation of SLEEP. She also spotlights some necessary and helpful relationships with tour presenting partners, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, as well as champion and friend Diane Rodriguez.

Event poster for the National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation.
National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation (NIDEC)
Video

National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation (NIDEC)

A virtual weekend of conversations and workshops

Friday 3 December to Sunday 5 December 2021
Minneapolis, Minnesota

The National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation (NIDEC) invited you to join us for our annual virtual convening. This program is produced by Art2Action and Pangea World Theater. Based on the in-person institute in Minneapolis, we are offering virtual masterclasses, panels and plenary sessions in 2021 to a wider audience during the pandemic. Livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network Friday 3 December to Sunday 5 December 2021.

A photo of Patricia Garza on a graphic for From the Ground Up.
A Roadmap for the Ensemble-Regional Producing Model
Podcast

A Roadmap for the Ensemble-Regional Producing Model

1 December 2021

From the Ground Up returns to the airwaves with Patricia Garza who shares their experience producing hyper-collaborative and ensemble-based theatre at the regional theatre level. Their work at the Network of Ensemble Theaters, Los Angeles Performance Practice, Center Theatre Group, and artEquity provides significant insights into contemporary theatre-making practices and next steps for the industry.

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).

poster for the event.
National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation (NIDEC)
Video

National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation (NIDEC)

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.