Collaborating as a theatre designer - Becs Andrews

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Becs Andrews, set and costume designer for theatre, opera, dance & film, who graduated in Design for Performance from Wimbledon in 2002, shares tips on collaborating as a freelance theatre designer. This event took place as part of Enterprise Week 09 www.arts.ac.uk/enterpriseweek09

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Collaborating as a theatre designer - Becs Andrews

  1. 1. Theatre Design - A Process of Collaboration Copyright Becs Andrews 2009
  2. 2. CREATIVE TEAM PERFORMERS TECHNICAL TEAM DESIGNER(S) DIRECTOR PRODUCTION MANAGER STAGE MANAGER WRITER COMPOSER PRODUCER LIGHTING DESIGNER BUILDER/MAKERS WARDROBE SUPERVISOR SINGERS ACTORS DANCERS Copyright Becs Andrews 2009
  3. 3. Initial Conversations <ul><li>DIRECTOR </li></ul><ul><li>PRODUCER </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>WRITER/ COMPOSER </li></ul>Copyright Becs Andrews 2009
  4. 4. DIRECTOR <ul><li>Chooses designer </li></ul><ul><li>Has own process, i.e.: </li></ul><ul><li>May want design completed before rehearsals </li></ul><ul><li>May want design to be reactive – change during rehearsals </li></ul><ul><li>May be a visual thinker, or not </li></ul><ul><li>May have a long-term designer-collaborator </li></ul>Copyright Becs Andrews 2009
  5. 5. Other potential collaborators <ul><li>Other designers – lighting designer, set designer, costume designer </li></ul><ul><li>Technical team – production manager, set builder, prop maker </li></ul><ul><li>Wardrobe supervisor, costume makers </li></ul><ul><li>Performers, stage managers </li></ul><ul><li>Graphic designers, marketing team </li></ul><ul><li>Assistants </li></ul>Copyright Becs Andrews 2009
  6. 6. Finding Collaborators <ul><li>Letting Collaborators find you… </li></ul><ul><li>PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION </li></ul><ul><li>WEBSITE </li></ul><ul><li>(Not AGENT) </li></ul>Copyright Becs Andrews 2009
  7. 7. Actively finding collaborators <ul><li>LETTERS / PROMO MATERIAL </li></ul><ul><li>NETWORKING EVENTS </li></ul><ul><li>KEEPING IN TOUCH </li></ul><ul><li>ADVERTISING SHOWS </li></ul><ul><li>RANDOM CONVERSATIONS ON TRAINS </li></ul>Copyright Becs Andrews 2009
  8. 8. Every collaboration is <ul><li>different from other collaborations </li></ul><ul><li>personal and professional </li></ul><ul><li>has its own journey and rules </li></ul><ul><li>finite </li></ul><ul><li>a process of negotiation and compromise </li></ul><ul><li>dependent on circumstances of production: pace, budget, location, remit </li></ul>Copyright Becs Andrews 2009
  9. 9. Methods <ul><li>Distance Collaboration: Skype, Phone calls, Email </li></ul><ul><li>Communication of ideas: Models, Drawings, Diagrams, Discussion, Research material </li></ul><ul><li>Responding to ideas: translating the verbal, kinetic or musical to visual </li></ul><ul><li>Problem solving: specific problems </li></ul><ul><li>General atmosphere and ‘feel’: sensitive to non-verbal communication – testing director’s reactions to ideas </li></ul>Copyright Becs Andrews 2009
  10. 10. Types of Collaboration <ul><li>DEVISED THEATRE - performers, rehearsal period </li></ul><ul><li>NEW WRITING - writer </li></ul><ul><li>CLASSICS – director, reinterpretation </li></ul><ul><li>OPERA – singers, musical director, different language and production week </li></ul><ul><li>DANCE – dancers, choreographer, costume movement </li></ul><ul><li>SITE SPECIFIC – space, audience </li></ul><ul><li>EDUCATIONAL – learning process, various key stages (drama school, community, schools, unis) </li></ul><ul><li>LIVE ART / SMALL SCALE – performer is director, writer, etc </li></ul><ul><li>COMEDY / NIGHTCLUBS / INTERIOR DESIGN – none of previous rules apply! </li></ul>Copyright Becs Andrews 2009

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