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Encountering Ensemble, is a text for students, teachers, researchers and practitioners who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the history, conceptual foundations and practicalities of the world of ensemble theatre. It is the first book to draw together definitions and practitioner examples, making it a cutting edge work on the subject.

Encountering Ensemble combines historical and contemporary case studies with a wide range of approaches and perspectives. It is written collaboratively with practitioners and members from the academic community and is divided into three sections:
1. Introduction and an approach to training ensembles
2. Practitioner case studies and analysis of specific practical approaches to training ensembles (or individuals in an ensemble context)
3. Succinct perspectives from practitioners reflecting on a range of questions including: What is an ensemble?; the place of ensemble in the contemporary theatre landscape; and training issues.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781408155172
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 08/29/2013
Series: Performance Books
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

John Britton is Senior Lecturer in Performance at the University of Huddersfield, Course Leader for the MA Ensemble Theatre: Training&Performance (a postgraduate degree based round his unique training processes) and Artistic Director of DUENDE, an international performance ensemble dedicated to developing interdisciplinary and intergenerational new work. John trains ensemble groups worldwide through his workshops in Mexico, Slovenia, France, Germany, Greece, China, Portugal, Australia, India and the UK. John has extensive experience as a director, performer and writer of physical, interdisciplinary and text-based work.
David Barnett is Professor of Theatre at the University of York, UK. He has published monographs on Heiner Müller (1998) and Rainer Werner Fassbinder (2005, paperback 2009), and co-edited a volume and edited a special issue of Contemporary Theatre Review on contemporary German theatre. His history of
the Berliner Ensemble was published in 2015, and he edited the anthology of Bertolt Brecht's Berliner Ensemble Adaptations (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2014).
Michael Boyd is a British theatre director. He trained at the Malaya Bronnaya Theatre in Moscow and worked at a number of significant in the United Kingdom theatres, including The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, The Sheffield Crucible and The Tron (Glasgow) before becoming Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2003 – a position he held until 2012.
Bryan Brown is a theatre artist with ARTEL as well as a producer and pedagogue with Art Via Corpora Performance Research and Development House, both based in Hollywood, California. His research centers on psychophysical training, ensemble creation and the theatre laboratory.
Frank Camilleri is Artistic Director of Icarus Performance Project and Associate Professor in Theatre Studies at the University of Malta. His main research interest focuses on the space between training and performance processes via the development of improvisatory structures.
Paul Carr is Head of the Division of Music and Sound and Reader in Popular Music Analysis at the ATRiuM, University of Glamorgan, in Cardiff. His research interests focus on the areas of musicology, widening access, the music industry and pedagogical frameworks for music-related education–publishing in all of these areas.
Franc Chamberlain is Professor of Drama at the University of Huddersfield. He has published a monograph and several smaller pieces on Michael Chekhov as well as co-editing a special issue of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training on Chekhov with Jonathan Pitches.
Terence Chapman (Mann) is a Senior Lecturer/Course Leader on the BA (Hons) Acting course, University of Central Lancashire. Terence has 20 years' experience as an actor/director, having trained and worked with Kaboodle (United Kingdom) 1995–98, Piesn Kozla (Poland) 1998–99 and Scarlett Theatre (United Kingdom and Poland) 1999–2001. Since 2000 to the present day, Terence has trained extensively in Meyerhold's Biomechanics with Gennady Bogdanov.
John Collins is an experimental theater director and designer. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the New York-based ensemble Elevator Repair Service Theater. John is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a United States Artists Fellowship. He has directed or co-directed all of Elevator Repair Service's productions since 1991 and has done design and technical work for ERS, The Wooster Group, Target Margin Theater and Richard Foreman. He holds a degree in English and Theater Studies from Yale University.
Antje Diedrich is a Lecturer in Contemporary Theatre and Practice at Middlesex University London. She has studied the Suzuki Actor Training Method with the Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT), SITI and Ozfrank Theatre.
Mark Evans is Professor of Theatre Training and Education and Associate Dean of the School of Art and Design at Coventry University. He studied in Paris with Jacques Lecoq, and with Philippe Gaulier and Monika Pagneux. His previous publications include Jacques Copeau (Routledge, 2006) and Movement Training for the Modern Actor (Routledge, 2009). He is an Associate Editor of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, and recently edited the special issue on Sports and Performance Training.

Mark Evans was appointed as Associate Dean (Student Experience) of the Coventry School of Art and Design in 2008, and in 2012 also became Professor of Theatre Training and Education in the School. He trained originally at the École Jacques Lecoq, and with Philippe Gaulier and Monika Pagneux, in Paris. His research interests are in the movement training of actors and performers, the creative use of reflective writing, and creative enterprise education and he welcomes interest from research students in these areas. As well as teaching and researching theatre practice he has over fifteen years' experience of directing and performing new plays, site-specific performances, and community projects. He is co-convenor of the Performer Training Working Group in the Theatre and Performance Research Association, and an Associate Editor of the Theatre Dance and Performance Training Journal.
Tanya is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader of Undergraduate Theatre, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, and acknowledged to be one of Australia's leading actor trainers. She is an award-winning performance maker, theatre director, actor and teaching artist
Richard J. Hand is Professor of Theatre and Media Drama at the Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Glamorgan, Wales UK. His publications include Terror on the Air: Horror Radio in America, 1931-52 (McFarland, 2006) and The Theatre of Joseph Conrad: Reconstructed Fictions (Palgrave, 2005). He is the co-editor of the Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance. He has published articles on radio drama with a special interest in adaptation and popular genre and has presented his research on the topic at a number of international conferences. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Peter Harrop is Professor of Drama and Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Chester. He gained his PhD (Drama/Folklore/ Ethnography) from Leeds University before going on to teach theatre at Addis Ababa University (1980–85) and Bretton Hall College (1985–96).
Paz Hilfinger-Pardo is a dramaturg, writer and performer. As a dramaturg, she has worked with the TEAM, 600 Highwaymen and the Odyssey Project (among others); her writing has been translated into German and Portuguese. She was a 2012 Fulbright Research Fellow in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and received her BA from Stanford University.
Kate Hunter is a theatre-maker and researcher. Her cross-disciplinary work encompasses neuroscience, embodied cognition and performance. Kate is the recipient of a Vice Chancellor's Postgraduate Research Award, enabling her to undertake a PhD in Performance Studies at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, where she is exploring the relationships between memory, imagination, the body and the brain.
Malgorzata Jablonska has been a member of Theatre CHOREA since 2004. She is a regular collaborator of the Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, and is currently completing a PhD on Meyerhold's influence on European forms of actor training, at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. Her other research interests include Polish performer training and theatre of musicality, performing autobiography and the neuroscience of performance.
Duncan Jamieson is a founding co-editor of the refereed journal and book series Polish Theatre Perspectives (PTP). He is based between the University of Exeter, UK, and the Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, Poland, where he has lectured on theatre and worked on various publications and research programmes since 2006. His current research project focuses on ethics and performer training in the work of Jerzy Grotowski.
Evelyn Jamieson is Programme Leader for Dance and Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester. She gained her MA (Educational Theatre) from Bretton Hall College, University of Leeds in 1991. She has taught at Bretton Hall (1989–98) and was Head of Dance/MA Programme Leader at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (1998–2009).
Chris Johnston (1951–2017) was the Director of improvisation company Fluxx, and Co-Director of both Rideout and Livestock. He taught at a range of colleges and institutions including University of Warwick and Staffordshire University, UK.
Brad Krumholz is co-founder and Artistic Director of NACL Theatre (North American Cultural Laboratory). Since founding the company in 1997, he has created and directed almost all of its performances, co-directed the NACL Catksill Festival of New Theatre for ten seasons, and established the company's theatre center in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York as a retreat home for ensemble theatre creators. His article, 'The Problem of Movement Theatre' is published in the Allworth Press book, Movement for Actors, and he is currently working on his PhD at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY).
Adam J. Ledger is a Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham. He has research interests in performance practice, and his book Odin Teatret: Theatre in a New Century is published by Palgrave Macmillan. He is joint Artistic Director of The Bone Ensemble, and recently created Caravania!
Rebecca Loukes is an actor-deviser and practitioner working with psychophysical approaches to training and performance. She is co-Artistic Director of RedCape Theatre, Associate Editor of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training journal and is Senior Lecturer in Drama at the University of Exeter.
Eilon Morris is a core member of DUENDE and OBRA Theatre Co, in which he works as a performer, composer and trainer. A percussionist and theatre practitioner, Eilon completed a PhD at Huddersfield University in 2013 examining the role of rhythm in psychophysical actor training and has contributed to the book Encountering Ensemble (2013) as well as having work published and presented in Stanislavski Studies, Total Theatre Magazine and at various international conferences. Eilon performs and teachers throughout Europe, presenting workshops and masterclasses at universities and other training centres.
Jonathan Pitches is Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Leeds in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries. He specialises in the study of performer training and has wider interests in intercultural performance, environmental performance and blended learning. He is founding co-editor of the journal of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training and has published several books in this area: Vsevolod Meyerhold (2003), Science and the Stanislavsky Tradition of Acting (2006/9) Russians in Britain (2012) and Stanislavsky in the World (with Dr Stefan Aquilina 2017). He is currently working on two new book projects, Great Stage Directors Vol 3: Komisarjevsky, Copeau, Guthrie (2017) and Performing Landscapes: Mountains (2018), supported by the AHRC.
Anna Porubcansky is a teacher, researcher and practitioner specializing in laboratory theatre practices. She holds a PhD in Theatre and Performance from Goldsmiths, University of London and is the co-founder of Glasgow-based theatre ensemble Company of Wolves.
Duška Radosavljevic is a Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at the University of Kent. She has previously worked as the dramaturg at the Northern Stage Ensemble, an education practitioner at the RSC and as a theatre critic for the Stage newspaper. She is the editor of The Contemporary Ensemble (Routledge, 2013) and author of Theatre-Making (Palgrave, 2013).
Marianne Sharp is a performer and director and teaches contemporary theatre practice at the University of Winchester, UK, specializing in performer training, directing and devising. She has previously worked for several years as an actress in touring theatre in the United Kingdom and continental Europe, and as a director and workshop facilitator in a range of contexts including youth theatre and applied theatre. She holds a PhD in Theatre and Performance from Royal Holloway College, University of London.
Dr Amy Skinner is Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Practice at the University of Hull, UK. Her work focuses on the reception of Soviet Drama and Theatre in contemporary Britain, using both theoretical and practical models to explore points of connection between the two cultures. She is a contributor to Russians in Britain (ed. Jonathan Pitches, 2011).
Patrick Stewart is an internationally renowned actor on stage and screen.
Susan Thompson is a Boston-area performer, writer and director. She completed the two-year program and LEM at Jacques Lecoq's International School in Paris and her PhD in Theater History at Tufts University. Her 2008 dissertation was Tout Ensemble: The Actor/Creator and the Influence of the Pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq on American Ensembles. She has been a core member of Pilgrim Theatre Research and Performance Collaborative since 1990 and teaches at Boston College and Commonwealth School.
Mark Valdez is the Executive Director for the Network of Ensemble Theaters, a coalition of US ensemble-based theater companies. He is a director, writer and educator based in Los Angeles. Mark has directed across the country, led various workshops and has participated in numerous panels.
Julia Varley has been an actress at Odin Teatret since 1976. Since 1990, she has taken part in the conception and organization of ISTA (International School of Theatre Anthropology) and from 1986 in the conception and organization of The Magdalena Project, a network of women in contemporary theatre. She is Artistic Director of Transit International Festival, has directed various productions, is editor of The Open Page and author of Wind in the West (Odin Teatret Forlag, Denmark) and Notebook of an Odin Actress: Stones of Water (Routledge, UK).
Phillip Zarrilli is the founding Artistic Director of The Llanarth Group. Recent performances include The Beckett Project at the Malta Arts Festival 1–10 July 2012 with performances of Happy Days, Ohio Impromptu, Act Without Words I, Rockaby; Play with Gaitkrash at the Cork Opera House (March 2012); The Echo Chamber (co-created with Kaite O'Reilly, Peader Kirk and Ian Morgan) at Chapter Arts Centre (Cardiff, January, 2012); and Told By The Wind (premiere 2010 in Cardiff, touring to Berlin, Wroclaw, Chicago, and continuing on tour). Zarrilli is noted for his development of a psychophysical approach to acting using Asian martial arts and yoga. He is author of Psychophysical Acting: An Intercultural Approach After Stanislavski (2009), which received the 2010 ATHE Outstanding Book of the Year Award.
John Britton is Artistic Director of DUENDE, an international performance group dedicated to ensemble-based, interdisciplinary new work. Between 2004 and 2011 he was Senior Lecturer at the University of Huddersfield, where for a number of years he ran an innovative practice-based MA in Ensemble Physical Theatre. He still retains a research affiliation to the University of Huddersfield and is one of the only academic-pracitioners in the UK with a specific research focus and practice in the training and directing of ensemble theatre. Britton has a continuing international practice as a trainer and director of ensembles. Recent workshops have taken place in Mexico, Slovenia, France, Germany, Greece, Sweden, China, Portugal, Australia as well as the UK. Britton has extensive experience as a director, performer and writer of physical, interdisciplinary and text-based work. In 2013 he will teach, perform and direct in India for two months , as well as continuing to run DUENDE's programme of workshops and intensive, rural, residential training events.

Table of Contents

Part One: Introduction; John Britton; Chapter 1: Bryan Brown : The Emergence of Studiinost: the ethics and processes of ensemble in the Russian theatre studio; Chapter 2: Amy Skinner: More than the Sum of their Parts: Reflections on Vsevolod Meyerhold's Theatrical Ensemble; Chapter 3: Franc Chamberlain: Michael Chekhov's Ensemble Feeling; Chapter 4: Jonathan Pitches: Star or Team? Theodore Komisarjevsky's early developments in ensemble playing in the UK; Chapter 5: Mark Evans: The French Ensemble Tradition: Jacques Copeau, Michel Saint-Denis and Jacques Lecoq; Chapter 6: David Barnett: The Berliner Ensemble. PartTwo: Snapshot #1: Chris Johnstone: Ensemble; Snapshot #2: Michael Boyd (Introduced by Duška Radosavljevic) :The RSC Ensemble; Chapter 7: Adam J. Ledger: Stan's Cafe: the Vision of the Ensemble; Snapshot #3: Peter Harrop&Evelyn Jamieson: Collaboration, ensemble, devising; Snapshot #4: Paul Carr&Richard J. Hand: Ensemble/Improvisation; Drama/Music: An Experiment in Interdisciplinarity; Chapter 8: Bryan Brown: As important as blood and shelter: extending studiinost into obshchnost; Snapshot #5: Julia Varley: Ensembles, groups, networks; Snapshot #6: Malgorzata Jablonska :Teatr CHOREA: Synchrony in Action; Snapshot #7: Anna Porubcansky: Song of the Goat Theatre (Teatr Piesn Kozla); Chapter 9: Rebecca Loukes: Towards a Syncretic Ensemble? RedCape Theatre's 'The Idiot Colony'; Snapshot #8: Mark Valdez: Network of Ensemble Theaters; Chapter 10: Brad Krumholz: Locating the Ensemble: NACL Theatre and the Ethics of Collaboration; Chapter 11: Paz Hilfinger-Pardo: Building Chartres in the Desert: The TEAM, Collective Intelligence, and the Failure of Ideals; Chapter 12: John Collins: Elevator Repair Service and The Wooster Group: Ensembles Surviving Themselves; Chapter 13: Marianne Sharp: 'Whose Fantasy?' Five Voices on Rachel Rosenthal's TOHUBOHU! Extreme Theater Ensemble; Snapshot #9: Kate Hunter: The Waiting Room: Practicing Embodied Cognition in Performance; Snapshot #10: Frank Camilleri: Ingemar Lindh and the Institutet för Scenkonst. Part Three: John Britton: Introduction; Chapter 14: John Britton: Self-With-Others: Training individuals ensemble; Snapshot #11: Eilon Morris: Collaborating in Time: The formation of ensemble through rhythm; Snapshot #12: Tanya Gerstle: Delicate Codes and Invisible Lines. 'Pulse': An Approach to Training an Ensemble; Chapter 15: Phillip Zarrilli: Psychophysical Training and the formation of an Ensemble; Snapshot #13: Antje Diedrich: Suzuki Training as Ensemble Training; Snapshot #14: Terence Henry Chapman: Ensemble Training and Meyerhold's Biomechanics; Snapshot #15: Chris Johnstone: Narrative Images; Chapter 16: Susan Thompson: Freedom and Constraints: Jacques Lecoq and the Theater of Ensemble Creation; Snapshot #16: Bryan Brown: Birthdays Make the Best Training; Snapshot #17: Patrick Stewart: Where I'll Be On Armageddon; John Britton: Afterword: What is it?

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