Directing Devised Theater

Directing Devised Theater

“When I devise a piece of theater with a group of people, I feel like we are changing the world. How? Instead of saying here is your part or role and this is how you are expected to fill it, we are saying: ‘Who are you? What can you bring? What do you want to say?’ This can be a huge paradigm shift for students and professionals (in all fields). A flip of the coin. The act of introducing something new. Instead of telling someone what to do, we are giving them permission to allow themselves to do. To create. To be. There is no audition. Anyone who wants to be in that room can be in that room. Day after day we each actively choose to show up and participate. Invest. There is no cast in this devised piece. Little by little we create an ensemble. I do not tell that ensemble who they are or even how to talk with one another. What drives the group to become an ensemble is each individual’s level of involvement, and how each individual articulates themselves within the process. At the first rehearsal we make a set of agreements: ways to work. We create a common language through physical play, by titling our discoveries so that they can become tools with which we create. A way of communicating with one another about what we want to have happen again. And how. To remember something that might have excited us. A group memory. We make observations. We witness one another. It is the responsibility as the facilitator of a devised process to cultivate ways of ensuring that everyone can be heard. An act of introducing someone to their own voice. To nurture that voice. To find various ways for everyone to be present and at their best. Their essence. To acknowledge one another. And to consistently encourage a space for people to listen to each other, even and especially when there may be disagreements. To navigate these moments peacefully and productively. To discover ways to move forward without forcing an outcome. To establish group ritual by recognizing the repetition. The patterns. The tendencies. To have your finger on the pulse of the moment. To allow the work and play to teach us what wants to happen next. To always remember to start exactly where we are. To meet each another there. To invite an audience in and wholeheartedly share these discoveries and possibilities with them.

This, my friends, reflects the kind of world I strive to live in.” – Excerpt From: “I Am Compassionate Creativity” and “The Act of Introducing Something New” in TCG’s “Innovation in Five Acts.”

Always a World Premiere

From character development to relationship interaction to the creation of a world into the telling of that community’s story, I facilitate/direct full-length devised productions. These usually range from a four to ten week intensive process and can be tailored to specific themes or community stories or challenges. There are always talk-backs that speak to the process and the the audience’s relationship to the new world…

When Night Falls at Mississippi University for Women. A full-length, Mainstage show with masks, music, and no language. 2012.


BOING, a devised musical at Trinity Repertory at toured to elementary schools in Providence, RI. 2013.

Learn more about me coming to your school or community to create a new piece or teach my devising process or sign-up for a mentorship session via Skype!