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Title: A new way of working : practice and process in directive commissioning
Author: Foreman, Bridget
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 1402
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2019
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Most approaches to the development of new writing in theatre have focused on the practice of dramaturgical support. This study asks in what ways current directive commissioning practices in theatre are shaping work with and by playwrights, and how playwrights might adapt their own practices in order to work effectively in these contexts. My practice research comprises three plays, all written to directive commissions. The first, In Fog and Falling Snow, was a large-scale community production for York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre. Staged at the National Railway Museum in 2015, it told the story of the 'Railway King', George Hudson, and the great railway bubble of the 1840s. The second, Simeon's Watch, was commissioned by Riding Lights Theatre Company, and toured to community and church venues in 2016. The three-hander play focused on the effects of dementia on a family of sheep farmers. The third, Everything is Possible, was another large-scale community production for York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre in 2017, commemorating the work of the suffragettes in York. Through autoethnographic analysis of my three case studies I consider the effect of directive commissioning on the culture and practice of small scale and regional theatre, with a particular focus on the practice of writers, and the resulting work. While I present final versions of my commissioned plays as practice research, my thesis examines the development of the projects from conception to production, interrogating the role of institutions in shaping commissions, the impact of audiences and site upon practice, and how gender representation informs the processes of a commission. This thesis proposes that in contrast to traditional models of playwriting, directive commissioning is a public activity, that it operates as a process, and that it is responsive to material and conceptual contexts.
Supervisor: Quigley, Karen ; Cornford, Tom Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available