From Sensory Dramaturgy to Double Diamond Devising

Quotes from Workshops on Theatre-Making.

Workshop participants exploring the ‘Double Diamond’ devising technique.

The Cradle of Creativity has seen Theatre-makers from around the world sharing some exciting tools and techniques.

The Write Local, Play Global workshop offered participants a taste of “Sensory Dramaturgy”, while Samantha Provenzano and Ally Tufenkijan (Paper Boat Project, USA) shared their “Double Diamond” devising technique with fellow practitioners at a workshop on Practice-as-Research in Theatre for the Very Young. Meanwhile, in Karel Van Ransbeeck’s (Theater De Spiegel, Belgium) Art is not a matter of age but of curiosity workshop, participants discussed artistic collaborations and audience engagement.

The following quotes give a flavour of the many themes which emerged in the workshops:

On Creating Plays …

“When writing characters, the more specific you are, the more universal your work will be.” – Kim Peter Kovac

“You should give some information to the audience, and some to the Actors.” – Karin Serres

On Why Playwrights Need Dramaturgs …

“Sometimes we [Playwrights] think we know everything about our own plays. But we can always learn more.” – Karin Serres

On Dramaturgy …

“A Dramaturg is someone who offers [theoretical] lenses for the Playwright and Director to look at their work through […] For me, the best Dramaturgs are those who ask questions […] In the United States, a Dramaturg is another eye for a production.” – Kim Peter Kovac

“In France, you are the one who cares about your own dramaturgy.” – Karin Serres

“In Finland, you can’t afford to employ a Dramaturg.” – Harriet (Workshop Participant)

On ‘Sensory’ Dramaturgy …

“It’s about offering sensory stimulants. What does the world of the play look like? Feel like? Smell like?” – Kim Peter Kovac

On Using Sensory Performance Work …

Giving food to our audience put them in a totally different place. And it was really cheap too!” – Harriet (Workshop Participant)

“I was blindfolded in a workshop and my sensory focus became completely different. I focused a lot more on smells and movement.” – Ginni (Workshop Participant)

On The ‘Double Diamond’ Method Of Retrospective Devising …

“We are starting in a physical place, things that are pleasing to us, things that are specific to us, and then afterwards we make narrative meaning […] You start by not knowing what you’re looking for, but through ensemble you will learn together […] The devising has no logic to it, but then you add logic to it. You put the rules in place, then you figure out the why.” – Samantha Provenzano

“When making theatre, I am used to asking “Why?” but here I can ask: “Why not?” – workshop participant

“This [method] was particularly useful in terms of involving the audience.” – Workshop Participant

“This [method] is a non-threatening method for non-theatre practitioners.” – Workshop Participant

On Keeping The Audience’s Attention

“For me, the spectator should decide when the performance starts and when it ends. The only thing I can do as a theatre-maker is provide the surrounding for people to experience something.” – Karel Van Ransbeeck

“I can see how children find it quite challenging to watch and stay seated without interacting. They want to interact.”  – Jacqueline (Workshop Participant)

Josephine Lane (Facilitator & Documenter)
Josephine is a Theatre Facilitator, Director and Producer from London. Her specific interests are in the Theatre in the Criminal Justice System, Theatre as Rehabilitation, Inclusive Theatre and Youth Theatre. A creative and dynamic practitioner with a good sense of humour, Josephine has worked across a variety of companies and settings all over the UK, with experience of working in Prisons and with Young Offenders to improve communication skills. Other recent projects have included Aladdin: The Pantomime with Herts Inclusive Theatre and Lewisham Youth Theatre’s gala performances.