Collaborative Creation: Starting from Devised Theatre

Concept by
Narod Shahinian

Table of Contents

New Course


Would you like to host theatre pieces or small performances in your classroom, or with a group of children or young adults? Don’t you know where to start?

This course introduces the concept of developing a performance with children and teenagers using participatory methods of group work through the idea of devised theatre. It is intended for either school teachers or educators in the youth sector.

Methodologies will draw on storytelling, theatre of the oppressed, and object theatre, as well as improve drama facilitation techniques.

The aim is to equip participants with tools of non-formal education, to develop short or long pieces of theatre and performance that derive from the future young actors themselves on themes that may come from their lives, their school textbooks, or historical events and celebrations in the local community.

Devising is a whole genre of theatre-making that is proven to be very beneficial for young people to increase confidence, equip them with decision-making tools, develop participatory performances, and promote inclusion, responsibility, and well-being.

Through the course, you will learn how to facilitate children and young adults to work in groups, take collective decisions, and create a safe space to freely propose novel ideas and be themselves.

You will also acquire competencies to facilitate drama activities without experience in theatre or directing. Finally, you will discuss reflection tools to evaluate and assess group work.

By the end of the week, you will have practiced many drama techniques, and rehearsed your own small, devised performance. You will have acquired a very practical experience to re-propose the whole process in your classroom, or with a group of children or young adults.

Learning outcomes

The course will help the participants to:  

  • Expand their understanding of group dynamics;
  • Promote the 4C’s: communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking;
  • Challenge their imagination, creativity, and understanding of young people’s mindset;
  • Engage people in experiential learning;
  • Facilitate inclusive participation and promote equity for all;
  • Include in the learning process students with learning difficulties through kinaesthetic learning;
  • Develop students’ conflict resolution and presentation skills;
  • Learn how to create something from nothing, based only on the needs of the group;
  • Create safe spaces for young people to be included and supported by the rest of the group.

Tentative schedule

Day 1 – Introduction to devising

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
  • Ice breakers activities;
  • Presentations of our schools;
  • Drama games for participatory learning;
  • Team building activities;
  • Laying the foundations of devising theatre.

Day 2 – Devising and storytelling

  • The art of telling stories;
  • Improvisation games: how to stop thinking and get out of your head;
  • Reflection/evaluation of the day: What did I learn? What do I need to work on?

Day 3 – Object theatre

  • Making theatre out of everyday objects;
  • Working with and adapting to the space you have available.

Day 4 – Performance 101 (day 1)

  • What is a performance? Everything there is to know about it;
  • Working with text (history, literature, plays, etc.)
  • Activity: devising our group performance (day 1)
  • Reflection/evaluation.

Day 5 – Performance 101 (day 2)

  • Devising our own group performance (day 2)
  • Presentation of performance;
  • Reflection/evaluation.

Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities

  • Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.

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