Executive Summary

This project aims to bring together professional theatre practice with academic research into historically-responsive performance, making the resultant dialogue and process accessible to Warwick students. It gives students the opportunity to engage with PaR approaches, both practice-based and practice-led, since the work has the potential to result in ideas and discoveries that could have operational significance in the making of new performance work.

The project will consist of 6 workshops and 6 discussion sessions taking place over the course of 6 weeks in London, involving a group of professional actors and directors. The workshops will be documented through film footage, interviews, and written blogs and will be made available to Warwick students online. At the start of the process, an introductory workshop will be given to students at the University of Warwick, introducing them to the themes and approaches of the project.

The aim of the project is to promote understanding of and engagement with the way that practice-as-research can have impact on the world of professional theatre, inspiring Theatre Studies students to value practice-led approaches and see the potential for academia to engage with professional practice and vice versa.

The approaches of the project are experimental and exercise-based, encouraging direct experience of the techniques followed by feedback, discussion and further practical exploration. The aim is to present opportunity for exploration and discovery through trying out some historically-responsive actor-training techniques. The same set of exercises will be used in the student sessions and the professional sessions, giving opportunity for valuable dialogue between those who took part.

The interactive conference day will encourage students to have active voices, getting them to lead sessions in groups based on the research topics and exercise-based practical approaches. It will kick-start a student-led project where groups seek to create a short piece of new, innovative performance inspired by the research and practice they have seen. They will have 1 month to create this, with regular mentor advice via email and phone, and they will be shown at Warwick university in April 2016. The winning group will be offered the opportunity to take their piece to a London venue for sharing with industry professionals, with a post-sharing discussion where they can ask and be asked questions about the process.