Verbatim Theatre: Professional Development Workshop for NSW Drama Teachers

When:18 Mar 2017, 9am - 4pm
Venue:Room 334 (Level 3), Robert Webster Building, UNSW Sydney
Who:Theatre and Performance Studies (School of Arts and Media), and School of Education, UNSW Sydney

Workshop One


Registration: $275

This one-day workshop on Verbatim Theatre (Topic 5, Studies in Drama and Theatre, HSC Drama) extends the skills and knowledges of teachers who are interested in this important form of socially engaged performance that draws closely on recorded interviews and testimony. Through a combination of studio and seminar sessions led by a diverse group of experts, this BOSTES-registered professional development day showcases methods for making and critically studying Verbatim Theatre. It also provides opportunities for sharing and acquiring new methods and resources for helping HSC students to engage in this topic in a rich and informed way, particularly with regard to prescribed plays such as Tom Holloway’s Beyond the Neck (2007) and Talking to Terrorists (2006) by Robin Soanes.

Led by UNSW staff from Theatre and Performance Studies in collaboration with staff from the School of Education, the event starts with a studio workshop run by leading Australian theatre artist David Williams. This workshop focuses on methods for developing a piece of original Verbatim Theatre, and ways to maintain truth while creating dramatic shape and audience engagement. This studio session is followed by a seminar with Dr Caroline Wake that explores Beyond the Neck and its complex relation to the artistic techniques of Verbatim Theatre. In the afternoon, Dr Meg Mumford addresses Talking to Terrorists with regard to social contexts and the issue of authenticity. Both seminars introduce teaching resources such as news reports, footage, scholarly texts, and reviews surrounding the relevant play. The day concludes with a conversation, facilitated by teacher Tiffany Crittle (Head of Drama, Wenona), about how to arrive at exercises and teaching plans that are inspired by embodied and textual resources explored earlier in the day.       

BOSTESCompleting this workshop will contribute 6 hours of QTC registered PD addressing Standards 3.2.2, 3.3.2, 3.4.2 and 3.5.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

You may also be interested in:

Workshop Two
Contemporary Australian Theatre Practice: Professional Development Workshop for NSW Drama Teachers
Saturday 25 March 2017
Read more about this workshop.

Workshop Leaders

Tiffany CrittleTiffany Crittle

Tiffany Crittle is currently Head of Drama at Wenona School and Drama Method Lecturer with the School of Education at The University of New South Wales. She holds a Diploma of Education, a  Master of Arts in English and Theatre Studies and a Master of Education. Tiffany is an accomplished and very experienced teacher of Drama. She has taught at a number of schools in Sydney in both the public and private school sectors. Prior to working at Wenona Tiffany was Head of Drama at Loreto Normanhurst and before that established Drama as a subject at Ravenswood School for Girls. She has been a Senior Marker for the HSC Drama Written Paper for a number of years and has also marked HSC Drama Performance and Projects.

Meg MumfordDr Meg Mumford (Theatre and Performance Studies, UNSW – Event Convener)

Meg Mumford (BA (Hons) U.N.E; PhD Bristol, U.K.) is Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies at The University of New South Wales, Sydney.  Her research focuses on socially engaged performance, intercultural exchange and the politics of performing bodies, particularly with regard to German and Australian theatre. She is the author of Bertolt Brecht (Routledge, 2009), co-editor of Rimini Protokoll Close-Up: Lektüren (Wehrhahn, 2014), and primary editor of the 2015 issue of Performance Paradigm on the arts and effects of non-professional theatre performers.  Recently Meg has published research into Australian verbatim and documentary theatre, often in collaboration with Assoc. Prof. Ulrike Garde (Macquarie University) and Dr Caroline Wake (UNSW). This research appears in contexts such as Paul Brown’s edited volume Verbatim: Staging Memory and Community (Currency Press, 2010). During her research Meg’s case studies have included: the verbatim drama Aftershocks by Paul Brown; the audio-verbatim piece Fast Cars and Tractor Engines by Urban Theatre Projects; and the documentary performance CMI (A Certain Maritime Incident) by version 1.0.  In the co-authored book Theatre of Real People: Diverse Encounters at Berlin’s Hebbel am Ufer and Beyond (Bloomsbury, 2016), Meg and Ulrike Garde address the nature and history of Verbatim Theatre, as well as the issue of performing authenticity.

Caroline WakeDr Caroline Wake (Theatre and Performance Studies, UNSW)

Caroline Wake is an Australia Research Council DECRA Fellow and Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at UNSW Australia. She has published extensively on verbatim, documentary and tribunal theatre in journals such as Theatre Research International, New Theatre Quarterly, and Modern Drama and in edited books such as Verbatim: Staging Memory and Community (Currency Press, 2010). She is co-editor, with Bryoni Trezise, of Visions and Revisions: Performance, Memory, Trauma (Museum Tusculanum Press, 2013), Editor of Performance Paradigm academic journal, Series Advisor (Australia) to Methuen Modern Classics, and reviewer for RealTime arts magazine. She currently holds three ARC grants on the Performance Space archive, the politics of contemporary performance, and the AusStage database.

David WilliamsDr David Williams

Under the banner of DW Projects, David Williams creates theatre works of social relevance, aesthetic rigour and emotional impact from elements that are typical of contemporary verbatim and documentary theatre. These elements include: research, interviews, transcripts and public documents. Over the past 20 years, David has gained expertise as a director, writer, producer, dramaturg, and performer, and his theatre works have won Helpmann, Green Room and Drovers awards. David was the founder and artistic leader of the Sydney-based performance group version 1.0 (1998 -2012) that won acclaim for its innovative, accessible and entertaining blend of documentary theatre, contemporary performance, and media spectacle. David’s current projects include: Quiet Faith, based on conversations with Australian Christians about religion and politics (premiered 2014, touring in early 2018), Smurf in Wanderland, reflecting upon football fandom in Sydney (world premiere April 2017 for the National Theatre of Parramatta and Griffin Theatre Company) and Grace Under Pressure, based upon interviews with doctors, nurses and other health professionals about bullying and harassment in the health sector (world premiere October 2017 for Seymour Centre and The Big Anxiety: festival of interactive arts). David is also a UNSW alumni who holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre and Performance Studies.’

Finding us

Robert Webster Building is located mid-way off the UNSW main walkway. Map Reference G14. Studio 334 is located on the third floor. 

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