in the centre of the picture is a large white square inflatable almost fully filled with air. 3 university students, 2 on the left and one of the right are hugging the inflatable

We have developed a week-long Residency which gives students an opportunity to specialise in a unique area of theatre production.  Students get hands-on experience working with Theatre-Rites through a series of workshops, discussions and guidance focussing on a range of independent creative tasks.   This can be adapted into a one or two-day workshop.

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2023 University of Essex Residency Week

inspired by the development of Something In The Air for Schauspielhaus Bochum led by Sue Buckmaster and Zöe Grain

Overview of a 2021 Intensive Week at University of Essex

Inspired by the development of Zoe’s Peculiar Journey Through Time for Burgtheater Vienna.  Led by Sue Buckmaster and Charlotte Dubery.

During the week we explored the theme of climate change – beginning with the provocation that we are on a floating island out at sea that’s made completely of rubbish and debris. We encouraged students to begin delving into this theme before they came to the workshop and to have a look at the links and videos we provided in a bespoke handbook.

Students created and played with their own assemblage puppets made with objects that could survive and wouldn’t disintegrate in sea water (plastic bottles / bags / tin cans / nets / wood / rope etc.). We invited them to start making their own collections of rubbish / recycling / objects to bring with them as the more variety there is, the more of a palette we have for object-led theatre-making.

Every morning we scheduled a big group warm up together to get our minds and bodies ready for the day and then split into breakout groups, or sometimes engaged in individual creative tasks. In this workshop we explored fundamental aspects of the Theatre-Rites creative process such as object-led play and physical theatre, puppet whispering, the use of object as alter-ego and personal political narratives. These performative languages encouraged a state of curiosity, availability and emphasised the physical playing of the actor in relation to the space and objects around them. The workshop culminated with an informal sharing of what each person had created. It was a rigorous process of playful discovery that gave an in-depth insight into how professional companies and visual theatre-makers such as Theatre-Rites work.

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The expertise that was brought to every session was almost overwhelming, the level of knowledge that guided the activities was truly outstanding
Megan Greenhill, University of Essex Dept of Film, Literature and Theatre Studies

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