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Chaos/Complexity and the Processes of Devised Theatre

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Chaos/Complexity and the Processes of Devised Theatre


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Most directors and performers would agree that theatre making can be a chaotic process. But how does order arise from this kind of chaos, and to what extent are theatre productions self-organising systems? Academic and director/playwright Alan Hancock examines these questions in detail, in order to discover how a director can best facilitate collaborative creativity in a theatre company. And he suggests that we now need a new way of looking at theatre making. The traditional approach to these issues assumes the priority of a written text, and is unable to deal with just those questions which are of greatest interest in the study of devising: -What is the nature of collective creativity? -What is the role of the author in this context? -What is the function of random process, and of intuition? -How are order and disorder interwoven in all this? Alan Hancock proposes a model located in the paradigm of Chaos/Complexity, one which accounts for both collaborative and traditional theatre making. He tests his theory by analysing two devised productions that he directed and documented. This documentation is included here in full, together with photos and video clips.

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