Theatre Thinker

Highlights from the past

Essays, Scholarly Work and Publications

Ensembles: How to Model One?

April 2, 2014

Well-known for its multi-faceted productions of narrated and physical theatre, The TEAM, based in New York, devises with an ensemble—a core. Their dedication to process and devising reinforces a part of their artistic-based decision making model. 

Ensembles: Exploring Fools Fury

March 28, 2014

foolsFURY is a theater ensemble from San Francisco that sees advantages in working with playwrights and devisors, and seizes opportunities to become a touring company. As they come up on their fifteenth year, artistic director Ben Yalom sheds some light on their transitions, and lets me in on how they are working toward what is next artistically and financially.

Ensembles: The Life and Times of Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble

March 14, 2014

Alvina Krause, one of twentieth century’s most famous teachers of acting, believed, “if you can act Chekhov, you can act anything!” In the summer of 1976 she was 83 years old, long retired, yet still taking private students in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania….

Ensembles: Making and Paying for the Art

February 25, 2014

Creating ensemble-based theater is one thing. Paying for it is anotherJeffrey Mosser does three case studies of established ensemble theaters exploring the creating and paying for the art.

The Psychology of the Audience: The Rules of Engagement

December 14, 2012

Over the eight hours of How to Build a Forest audience engagement was varied…. I sat on stage briefly while the forest grew. The “Builders” had a goal, and worked around me; I never got the feeling that they were “acting”—or that there was any sense of urgency. Every member of the Forest cast was present. In addition, Builders would occasionally come into the audience and open up a conversation by describing what was happening on stage. 

The Psychology of the Audience:
Inviting the Audience to Play

December 7, 2012

Can the audience play? How much can the audience play? Are they in control? When? Where? How? Is control taken back in order to progress the story? Is there a story? Are we as creators okay not telling a story?

The Psychology of the Audience: The departure from traditional theater means that anything is possible

November 24, 2012

Once we enter a space we strive to understand the parameters—including how vital our role as an audience is. We want to hold up our end of the bargain as patrons because we came here to see the show as it was intended. The degree of interaction required by the show may be active or passive, but we seek to know if we (as audience members) are important to telling the story.

The Psychology of the Audience

November 15, 2012

Seeking insight into what makes immersive theatre work for an audience, Jeffrey Mosser observes three productions: How to Build a ForestSleep No More, and Mikhael Tara Garver’s Fornicated From the Beatles. This four post series includes interviews with creators as well as with patrons pre and post show.