Story-Circle Processes: Mining Personal Stories for Devised Productions

Anthony Tassa, American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: This paper introduces participants to techniques originally developed by actor-artist John Oneal of the Junebug Theatre in New Orleans that are utilized in creating devised theatre productions concerning selected themes. It explores story collection processes and exploration of detailed personal stories utilized in developing two theatrical presentations. The student-actors who participated in the implementation of these techniques were a blend of local and expatriate communities in the United Arab Emirates. Discovering one’s self, one’s history, one’s past, as well as one’s connection to a viable future were at the forefront of the project. The first theatre piece discussed was presented at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates from November 8 through 15, 2016. The piece continued its development until it reopened at the American University of Sharjah First International Theatre Festival on February 2, 2017. The second theatre piece discussed was presented at the American University of Sharjah from November 7-13, 2018, and was remounted for the AUS Second International Theatre Festival on February 4, 2019. The Story-Circle processes are suitable for educators interested in exploring story-collection techniques, and translating those techniques into artistic production.

 

Key words: Theatre, Culture, Story-Circle, Devising, Devised Theatre

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