1st Edition

The Contemporary Ensemble Interviews with Theatre-Makers

Edited By Duška Radosavljević Copyright 2013
    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    ‘Dr. Radosavljević has an excellent and extensive grasp of her subject, and deep understanding of not only the history of these groups, but how they function, and how each contributes to the field of ensemble theatre.’ – David Crespy, University of Missouri, USA

    Questions of ensemble – what it is, how it works – are both inherent to a variety of Western theatre traditions, and re-emerging and evolving in striking new ways in the twenty-first century. The Contemporary Ensemble draws together an unprecedented range of original interviews with world-renowned theatre-makers in order to directly address both the former and latter concerns. Reflecting on ‘the ensemble way of working’ within this major new resource are figures including:

    Michael Boyd, Hermann Wündrich, Yuri Butusov, Max Stafford-Clark, Elizabeth LeCompte, Lyn Gardner, Adriano Shaplin, Phelim McDermott; and Emma Rice;

    representing companies including:

    The RSC; The Berliner Ensemble; The Satirikon Theatre; Out of Joint; The Wooster Group; Kneehigh Theatre; Song of the Goat; The Riot Group; The Neo-Futurists; Shadow Casters; and Ontroerend Goed.

    All 22 interviews were conducted especially for the collection, and draw upon the author’s rich background working as scholar, educator and dramaturg with a variety of ensembles. The resulting compendium radically re-situates the ensemble in the context of globalisation, higher education and simplistic understandings of ‘text-based’ and ‘devised’ theatre practice, and traces a compelling new line through the contemporary theatre landscape.

    PART I: Redefinitions of Ensemble

    1.1. MICHAEL BOYD (Royal Shakespeare Company): A ‘Contingent Community’ in a Free Market Economy

    1.2. GABOR TOMPA (Hungarian Theatre of Cluj): Between the East and the West Today

    1.3. HERMANN WÜNDRICH (The Berliner Ensemble): How the Berliner Ensemble Changes With Time

    1.4. YURI BUTUSOV (guest director Satirikon Theatre): Directing as an Art of Composition

    1.5. MAX STAFFORD-CLARK (Out of Joint): A Tried and Tested Ensemble Methodology

    1.6. ELIZABETH LECOMPTE (The Wooster Group): ‘A Group of People Around a Place’

    1.7. LYN GARDNER (The Guardian Newspaper): On Regional Theatre-Making

    PART 2: Working Processes

    2.1. ANTON ADASSINSKY and ELENA YAROVAYA (Derevo): Beyond Words

    2.2. EMMA RICE (Kneehigh Theatre): From a Community to the West End

    2.3. JOANNA HOLDEN (freelance actor, Northern Stage, Kneehigh, Cirque du Soleil): On Being an Ensemble Actor in the UK

    2.4. IAN MORGAN (Song of the Goat): An Actor’s Journey Between Wales and Wroclaw

    2.5. DAN ROTHENBERG (Pig Iron): ‘Comic Figures Repurposed’

    2.6. ADRIANO SHAPLIN (The Riot Group): Ensemble as a Musical ‘Intersubjective Unit’

    2.7. HANNA SLÄTTNE (Tinderbox Theatre): Working together in Northern Ireland

    2.8. ALEXANDER KELLY (Third Angel) and CHRIS THORPE (Unlimited Theatre): On Writing and Performance in an Ensemble

    PART III: Ensemble and the Audience

    3.1. MIKE ALFREDS (ex-Shared Experience, Method and Madness): Sharing the Experience of Imagination

    3.2. GREG ALLEN (The Neo-Futurists): An Interactive Ensemble

    3.3. PHELIM MCDERMOTT (Improbable): ‘Safe Emergencies’

    3.4. PETER ECKERSALL (Not Yet It’s Difficult): The Dramaturgy of Long-Term Cross-Cultural Collaboration

    3.5. KATARINA PEJOVIĆ and BORIS BAKAL (Shadow Casters): Ensemble as a Tool of Civic Engagement

    3.6. DAVID BAUWENS, ALEXANDER DEVRIENDT, JOERI SMET (Ontroerend Goed): On Courting the Audience

    3.7. RICHARD JORDAN (Richard Jordan Productions): Towards a Global Ensemble


    Duška Radosavljevic