Colours and shapes

by Mike West | 1 September 2015

In my experience very few students are aware of the need for thinking from the audience’s perspective.

I suppose it is true for many of us. I look over a unit that I have been teaching for some years and wonder where the various bits of it came from. We are all magpies, aren’t we? I see activities I first did in workshops in Stratford years ago. Other ideas and texts that were given to me at some ISTA event somewhere, sometime. So, if you recognise your input into this, I give you a heart-felt thank you.

I teach a unit I call Colours and shapes. It struck me that looking at composition as a focus, both IB courses for 2009 and 2016 are about bringing the elements of production together but that this – composition as a primary focus – was missing from my course. So I shoved in this kind of bits and pieces unit, as I saw it then, to redress the balance. It’s really like an art unit – about composition. It isn’t exploring a practitioner or a tradition; it is about creating an atmosphere in a space. As a group, my classes probably see six or seven plays across the two years of IB. I am lucky in that London is only a short hop away. I regularly get my students to attend TaPS and Luxembourg has a growing and healthy theatre scene, frequently in English. It seems to be on the circuit for UK productions doing a European tour which is great news for me. This means that they get good exposure to productions.

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