Devising from a Stimulus

Devising from a Stimulus

Initial Understanding and Preparation

  • Definition: Devising from a stimulus entails creating a performance piece in response to a particular initiating material such as a photograph, a piece of text, a headline, or a short film. This material serves to spark creativity, encouraging individual interpretation.

  • Interpretation: The stimulus can be interpreted in various ways. Care has to be taken to avoid literal interpretations and think imaginatively to develop unique and compelling pieces.

  • Research: Exploring the themes, context, and ideas presented by the stimulus could involve historical, cultural or socio-political research. This can help build the basis for the devised piece.

Building the Piece

  • Character Development: Development of characters should be inspired by the stimulus. This includes characteristics, mannerisms, and how they interact with each other and with the themes of the stimulus.

  • Narrative Structure: Plot building is a crucial part of the process. It involves choosing the story’s structure, identifying key moments, conflict, resolution and ending.

Theatrical Choices and Collaboration

  • Theatrical Style: Based on the stimulus, you should decide the theatrical style for the devised piece. This could range from naturalism or realism to physical theatre, comedy, tragedy or others.

  • Use of Techniques: Experiment with a variety of drama techniques such as monologues, flashbacks, cross-cutting, chorus work, etc., to enrich the piece and make it interesting and engaging for the audience.

  • Collaboration: Working in a group is key for devising from a stimulus. Collaboration aids the consideration of multiple viewpoints which can add depth to the devised piece.

Finalizing the Devised Piece

  • Well-defined Focus: Have a clear idea of what you wish to convey through your performance and how it relates to the stimulus. Making clear the intention of the piece can guide the devising process effectively.

  • Evaluative Process: During the devising process reflect and evaluate the work continuously to refine it, ensuring its successful communicative potential. Consistent improvisation, rehearsal, feedback and refinement should be integral parts of the process.

  • Documentation: Keep track of the development and the formation of ideas, the research conducted and how the piece has been constructed. It can be valuable for understanding and evaluating the process later.

Devising from a stimulus is not just to create a performance that mirrors the initiating material but to develop a unique piece that interprets and responds creatively to it.