Improvisation & Immanence in the Rehearsal and Performance of Scripted Realist Drama

This theatre-based project seeks to understand the ways in which improvisation-based rehearsal and performance practices affect a production’s impact on audiences. Using a version of Konstantin Stanislavsky’s improvisation based Active Analysis, which gives actors sustained opportunities to improvise upon and shape the performance in order to create as authentic a performance as possible, Tom Scholte will direct two students in a performance of Canadian David French’s Realist comedic drama, SALT-WATER MOON, and gather quantitative and qualitative data to assess audience reception of this production. The play’s reception will be compared to those of other more conventional theatrical productions, in order to understand whether and in what ways the use of Active Analysis in the rehearsal and production process impacts audience reception. Qualitative data on the audience’s appraisal of the “truthfulness” and “believability” of the actors’ performances will be gathered through the use of questionnaires distributed to audience members throughout the Theatre at UBC season. Quantitative data regarding audience interpretation of dramatic performances will be gathered and assessed by Research Collaborator, Alan Kingstone, using a method he has previously employed in the study of film audiences.

Site: University of British Columbia

Researchers: Tom Scholte, Dept of Theatre and Film, UBC; in collaboration with Alan Kingstone, Dept of Psychology, UBC