Devising Theatre



A method of theatre-making in which the script or (if it is a predominantly physical work) performance score originates from collaborative, often improvisatory work by a performing ensemble. 

Ways to Devise Theatre

  • Give individuals materials to inspire theatre
    • Source materials
    • Newspaper article
    • Poem
    • Drawing
    • Story pairing
  • Split people into pairs
    • One person makes a statement and the other individual adds on with a “yes and” statement
  • Sound/image sequencing
    • Groups create distinct sounds/poses and decide where and when they are heard
    • Individuals then create story/action to accompany these sounds
  • Brainstorm quickfire
    • Give individuals a minute to rattle off as many topics as they can
    • They then can craft theatre from some of these topics
  • Embodying symbols
    • The instructor names certain symbols and students must communicate through a quick, improvised scene what that means to them
  • Building off prompts
    • Give small groups a prompt to inspire theatre
      • Ex. Winter to me is…
    • Let groups use theatre to communicate their ideas and thoughts about these topics 

Examples of Devised Theatre