Theatre Practices

Vision

The programme’s vision is to create de-disciplined, diverse thinking artists that promote performance making as a strategy for equitable societies and resilience. The programme achieves this vision by keeping the focus on the body in performance and the focus on the studio practice.

photo. Marije vd Berg, maker and perf. Katie Ward 1
Performance by Katie Ward, Photo by Marije van den Berg

De-discipined study

Theatre Practices brings together seemingly distinct disciplines, including but not limited to performance studies, performance practice, dance studies, social sciences, politics, psychoanalysis, philosophy a.o. and then supports students to use them as lenses while understanding their idiosyncracies and limitations. The disparate disciplines come together in the Theatre Practices under the notion of studio practice and Practice-as-Research. The studio is a critical space that Phillip Zarrilli (2002) calls ‘the metaphysical studio [. . .] a place of hypothesis, and therefore a place of possibility [. . .] where something can come out of nothing’ (160). The studio favors becoming instead of being, a space of agency and at the same time an ‘accumulator of subjectivity’ (Lepecki: 2006:, 28). The programme’s goal is to puncture and transform knowledge by attending to “that-which-is-not-yet”.

Diverse thinking

Diverse thinking both in terms of content and methods of delivery. Theatre Practices perceives performance in its broad spectrum–mark identities, bend time, reshape and adorn the body. The body is understood as a stage where the scripting qualities of societal structures are rehearsed and performed in perpetuum and ad infinitum. By studying –in theory and practice–the normative disciplining of the body, Theatre Practices task is to enable performance practitioners to become aware of their own stance in relation to otherness and then take steps to maintain or change position. A strategic mission of Theatre Practices is the development and expansion of the notion of Student as Producer to give the opportunity to students to become independent artist-researchers and at the same time to build a multivocal and fluid powerhouse.

Equitable society

Theatre Practices questions how to ‘act’ and ‘move’ in the world, that is, how does individual agency, political activism and artistic acting move- with and are moved by the world. Usually, in the performing arts, the studio is an isolated environment for experimenting, risking and discovering. Theatre Practices is interested in developing a flow between the studio and the world, where the world can become a space for experimentation and discovery. This implies looking after the ecological collaboration of professionals and non-professionals, as well as between humans and non-humans. The situatedness of artists in society and in nature can lead us to think of renewed environments of collaboration, and emergent profiles of performance makers.

Resilience

Theatre Practices understands resilience as the capacity for adaptation to adversity. In their independent artistic projects students learn how to risk assess, manage hazards and act swiftly when conditions change. Theatre Practices fosters collective engagement as a way of building communities that debate and define ecological and social features of the system within which they operate and manage to design appropriate measure of action. By focusing on ecology, we promote the possibility to combine resources to realize a level of access, mobility and growth that would not otherwise be available to each artist alone.