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Title: Processes and rhetorics of writing in contemporary British devising : Frantic Assembly and Forced Entertainment
Author: Smith, Mark
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines the frameworks of writing and devising employed by two influential British theatre companies of the late 20th and early 21st centuries: Frantic Assembly and Forced Entertainment. I place these companies – not usually considered together – in dialogue, drawing on archive material from the decades-long span of their careers. Clues to the development of their creative methods are sought from rehearsal tapes and scripts, as well as other material surrounding each company’s output; this includes education packs, reviews, interviews (some newly conducted by myself), promotional videos and other manifestations of the rhetoric around the creation of the works in question. I focus closely on several specific productions for each company, but frame these detailed studies within a wider exploration of the developing styles, shifting methods and changing material circumstances within which these productions were created. My first chapter assesses existing proposed definitions of devising, adopting and nuancing certain key terms in the light of my observations of the companies examined. Within these frameworks, I use the particular case studies to illuminate concerns central to the creation of new theatrical work more widely, involving overlapping processes of devising and writing. In particular, I probe anxieties, paradoxes and revelations around the roles of writing and collaboration. By tracing the companies’ rhetorics and practices over a considerable length of time, I throw new light on the slow accretion and nuancing of process within both companies.
Supervisor: Cordner, Michael Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available