Improvisation and playmaking : a look at some improvisation techniques and their applications during the directing process

Skordis, Ranza (Ranza Nora-J) (2003-12)

Thesis (MDram)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this thesis the author investigates aspects of the use of improvisation and improvisational methods, techniques and exercises by modem practitioners. The study commences with a look at the beginnings of modem improvisation in the nineteenth century, when improvisation was used only tentatively by performers as a preproduction aid to the exploration of character and personal response. In more recent times the process has become one of collaboration and research; as a means of selfdiscovery, as a means of text creation and as a vehicle for finding a 'voice' for the silent majority within a particular community or society. This study also traces the use of improvisation in South Africa where the improvisational process has been incorporated into democratic and collaborative forms like workshop theatre and workers' theatre, and serves as a useful method of political investigation and conscientisation. The study will also briefly touch what on is now termed 'theatre-fordevelopment', since its practitioners make extensive use of improvisational techniques, and its techniques are allied to those of workers' and workshop theatre. The final chapter provides an application of the theories discussed in the bulk of the study in a brief discussion of the author's own attempts at utilising improvisation as a directing and scriptwriting tool in a student production.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In hierdie tesis ondersoek die outeur die gebruik van improvisasie en die verskillende metodes, tegnieke en praktiese toepassings daarvan deur moderne praktisyns. Die tesis begin deur te kyk na die oorsprong van moderne improvisasie in die 1ge eeu toe imporvisasie slegs tentatief deur akteurs gebruik is om vóór die produksiefase as 'n hulpmiddel te dien om 'n karakter en persoonlike reaksies te ondersoek. Die proses het onlangs tot een van samewerking en navorsing verander; as 'n methode tot selfontdekking, 'n hulpmiddel by teks-skepping en as 'n medium om 'n "stem te vind" vir die 'stille meerderheid' binne 'n gegewe gemeenskap of samelewing. Hierdie studie ondersoek ook die gebruik van improvisasie in Suid Afrika waar die improvisasieproses in demokratiese en spanwerk vorme soos bv. werkswinkelteater en werkersteater geïnkorporeer is, waar hulle as uiters nuttige vorme van politieke ondersoek en -bewusmaking dien. Die studie raak ook vlugtig aan 'teater-virontwikkeling', aangesien die praktisyns daarvan grootliks gebruik maak van improvisasie-tegnieke en die tegnieke wat hulle gebruik redelike ooreenstem met dié van werkswinkelteater en werkersteater. Die finale hoofstuk verskaf 'n toepassing van die verskeie teorieë wat in die hoofgedeelte van die tesis bespreek word, in 'n kort bespreking van die outeur se eie pogings om improvisasie as 'n regie- en teksskeppingsinstrument in 'n studenteproduksie, te gebruik.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53461
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