Text of the Day: Joan Littlewood on devising

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Random and topical thoughts and quotes gathered by My Theatre Mates contributor Aleks Sierz, first published on www.sierz.co.uk.

“Littlewood recalled that during one rehearsal, actress Ann Beach came to her in tears crying, ‘We’re all lost. We’re getting nowhere. Can’t we just do a straightforward play?’ Littlewood retorted, ‘If we don’t get lost, we’ll never find a new route.’ This episode, small and anecdotal as it is, is a reminder that combining devising with scripting in a collaborative process that relies on material generated by performers but controlled and organized by a single figure such as a writer/director has the potential to be inspiring but also difficult and frustrating, especially if the company in question has not worked in this way before and does not have a shared language for working and a shared understanding of the ultimate goal.” – Sarah Sigal’s Writing in Collaborative Theatre-Making

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Aleks Sierz
Aleks Sierz FRSA is a theatre critic, and author of the seminal study of new 1990s playwrights, In-Yer-Face Theatre. His other books include Rewriting the Nation, The Theatre of Martin Crimp, John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights and Modern British Playwriting. His latest book (co-authored with Lia Ghilardi) is The Time Traveller’s Guide to British Theatre. He also works as a journalist, broadcaster, and lecturer. Aleks blogs independently at www.sierz.co.uk and tweets at @alekssierz.
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Aleks Sierz on RssAleks Sierz on Twitter
Aleks Sierz
Aleks Sierz FRSA is a theatre critic, and author of the seminal study of new 1990s playwrights, In-Yer-Face Theatre. His other books include Rewriting the Nation, The Theatre of Martin Crimp, John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights and Modern British Playwriting. His latest book (co-authored with Lia Ghilardi) is The Time Traveller’s Guide to British Theatre. He also works as a journalist, broadcaster, and lecturer. Aleks blogs independently at www.sierz.co.uk and tweets at @alekssierz.

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