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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

Growth Through Touring and Tension
Podcast
Growth Through Touring and Tension
by Jeffrey Mosser, David Catlin
12 January 2022
Civic-Minded and Morally-Guided Practices
Podcast
Civic-Minded and Morally-Guided Practices
by Jeffrey Mosser, Michael Rohd
5 January 2022
Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Resident Ensemble Theatre: UNIVERSES
Podcast
Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Resident Ensemble Theatre: UNIVERSES
by Jeffrey Mosser, Alison Carey, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, Steven Sapp
22 December 2021
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.

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.