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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Devising in Process

ISBN 9780230573673
Publication Date July 2010
Formats Paperback Ebook Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave

Devising in Process examines the creative processes of eight theatre companies making devising-based performances.

Companies covered include:
• The People Show
• Station House Opera
• Shunt
• The Red Room
• Faulty Optic Theatre of Animation
• theatre O
• Gecko
• Third Angel

Authors were granted unusual access to the rehearsal room, enabling them to provide unique insights into how ideas evolve and develop, how strategies and methods are applied and how roles and relationships are structured. Covering a broad range of styles, the collection explores physical theatre, political theatre, puppetry, live art, new writing and performance with new technology.

Accessibly framed, the book includes a comprehensive introduction which highlights similarities and differences in approach, examines the impact of economic and cultural factors and explores how definitions of devised theatre are changing and developing. This eye-opening collection will be important reading for students and practitioners interested in exploring 21st century devising processes.


ALEX MERMIKIDES is Senior Lecturer in Drama at Kingston University, UK, where she leads the MA Making Plays: Writing and Devising for the Stage and teaches on the BA Drama course, specialising in devising and writing for performance. She is a member of the Lightwork Theatre Company.

JACKIE SMART is Principal Lecturer in Drama at Kingston University, UK, where she teaches devising, acting and physical theatre at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She has devised and directed many professional productions.

People Show in Rehearsal: People Show #118 The Birthday Tour; S. Behrndt
Station House Opera; J. Kelly
The Making of Faulty Optic's Dead Wedding: Inertia, Chaos and Adaptation; T. Moss
Devising and Advocacy: The Red Room's Unstated; G. White
The Distance Covered: Third Angel's 9 Billion Miles from Home; P. Stainer
Delirium: in rehearsal with theatre O; H. Freshwater
Clash and Consensus in Shunt's 'big shows' and the Lounge; A. Mermikides
Sculpting the Territory: Gecko's The Arab and The Jew in Process; J. Smart.


This accessible and concise collection of essays, edited by Alex Mermikides and Jackie Smart, presents valuable insights into the vibrancy of alternative British theatre. These insights derive in part from the fact that the book's contributors were embedded within their focus companies to observe their devising of specific performance projects. This unusual access to the unique, often long and idiosyncratic process of devising performance brings immediacy to an obscure and sometimes misunderstood subject.' – Thomas Riccio, Theatre Journal, Volume 64, Number 2, May 2012
'Devising in Process contributes to a growing number of books on the process of theatre making that analyse approaches to contemporary performance and provide models of creative practice for students and theatre practitioners…Contributors to the volume were given access, to a greater or lesser extent, to the rehearsals of these companies, and this intimate engagement enables them to present perceptive insights into the devising strategies, processes, and methods deployed to develop innovative and challenging performances.' – Lib Taylor, Contemporary Theatre Review, Volume 22, Issue 1, 2012
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