How can autobiographical material be used in the process of devising performance? A comparative study between the practice of The Wooster Group and Rhiannon Faith.
(2017) How can autobiographical material be used in the process of devising performance? A comparative study between the practice of The Wooster Group and Rhiannon Faith., no. 42.
Theatre is often considered a sacred ground for fiction and character to thrive. However within contemporary performance practise it is becoming increasingly common for character to be stripped away and replaced with the performance of the self. The practise often includes the use of autobiographical material during the developmental stage. This study assesses the potential use of autobiographical material during the creative production of new pieces of theatre by examining the works of the theatre companies the Wooster Group and Rhiannon Faith with a particular focus on their respective works Rumstick Road (1977) and Scary Shit (2017). The study identifies how the different situations and styles of the companies affects their usage of autobiographical material. The study follows different aspects of the devising process from conception to delivery assessing the use of autobiography throughout. Information on the two companies is gathered through a close analysis on the body of work surrounding The Wooster Group, particularly David Savran's documentation of the company's methodology, alongside an in-depth one-to-one interview conducted with Rhiannon Faith. The findings of this study conclude that, although the uses of autobiographical material is adaptable and can vary greatly between companies due to the needs and context of the work, it creates a performance that is both personal and relatable for the audience.