Devising: What You Have To Do

Devising: What You Have To Do

Starting Your Devised Piece

  • Conduct Research: To create your original performance, you need to first conduct research. This might reference a piece of existing theatre you want to adapt, or it could revolve around a particular theme, subject matter, or social issue.
  • Design Short Scenes: Plan out your devised piece by creating a series of short scenes. Keep in mind the dramatic structure – ensuring your piece has a clear beginning, middle, and end.

Character and Skill Development

  • Develop Characters: For each character in your piece, work on developing their personality, history, motivations, and relationships with other characters.
  • Utilise Theatrical Skills: Consider how skills such as physical theatre, puppetry, mime, movement, voice work, or multi-rolling can be integrated into your piece. This should not be hasty, but carefully thought through to enhance the dramatic impact of your performance.

Form and Style Experimentation

  • Experiment with Style and Form: The format of your devised piece is up to you. It could be naturalistic, non-naturalistic, a monologue, a duologue, a multi-scene narrative, an ensemble piece or even a combination of styles and forms.

Design and Performance

  • Incorporate Design Elements: Think about how elements like lighting, sound, costume, set, and props can enhance the mood and meaning of your performance. Any design choices should serve to underscore and enhance the story being told.
  • Practice Performance Techniques: Work on your acting, singing, or dancing skills, depending on what your piece requires. Practice individual scenes, as well as performing the whole devised piece in order to enhance your delivery and technique.

Evaluation and Improvement

  • Use Feedback: After running through your piece, solicit feedback from your peers or teachers. This can help you to work out any kinks in your performance, refine your skills and improve your overall piece.
  • Rehearse: Regular, thorough rehearsals are key to a successful devised piece. Avoid leaving everything to the last minute.
  • Reflect: Always reflect on your choices and the success of your piece - this is vital in the process of devising theatre. Consider what worked, what didn’t and how you could improve going forward. Don’t forget to keep a log or journal capturing this reflective process.