Beyond the playwright: the creative process of Els Joglars and Teatro de la Abadía
The rehearsal processes of theatre companies are an oft-neglected area of research in Drama and Performance Studies. My study of the Catalan devising collective Els Joglars and the Madrid producing venue Teatro de la Abadía seeks to redress the balance with a close analysis of methodologies employed in rehearsal. In both cases I have witnessed rehearsals first-hand; with Els Joglars observing preparations for En un lugar de Manhattan (2005); in the case of the Abadía working as assistant director on El burlador de Sevilla (2008). These observations are fundamental to a thesis where I have sought to place both companies in a local, national and international context. The thesis examines Els Joglars’ roots in mime and how they have generated a practice-based methodology by means of a hands-on exploration of ideas derived from practitioners as varied as Etienne Decroux and Peter Brook. With Teatro de la Abadía, the focus shifts to how the founder and Artistic Director José Luis Gómez developed exercises drawn from European practitioners such as Jacques Lecoq and Michael Chekhov in order to create his own actor-training centre in Madrid. In effect, both companies have created distinctive rehearsal processes by applying ideas and techniques from a wider European context to a Spanish theatre scene which had been seen to follow rather than develop trends and techniques visible in theatre across France, Italy and Germany. Critically, their hybrid rehearsal processes generate heightened theatrical results for the audience. This could be described as an experiential engagement, where the creative process has been consciously geared towards placing the audience in a ‘distinct situation’ and requiring them to respond accordingly. Thus the thesis shifts the focus of academic study away from product and towards process, demonstrating how an understanding of process assists in the reading of the theatrical product.
AuthorsBreden, Simon David
- Theses