In this part, I will describe some of the practical steps of creating a social-specific theatre production. Over the many years of my work with untrained people, I have created a set of games and assignments which can be practiced by anyone regardless of age, gender, previous experience, nationality and age. Some of them I have learned from other theatre practitioners and accommodated for untrained performers, some I have invented by myself. I generally use the exercises, assignments and games described in this chapter as a starting point in my work with any kind of group. This work could have the form of an atelier lasting four hours, a workshop lasting a couple of days, or a summer school for two weeks. It can also be the rehearsal of a show.  

Here are the main sources I use for my work:

  • The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition, by Anne Bogart and Tina Landau (2005)
  • Workshops with the SITI company in Prague and New York (2003 – 2008)
  • My experience in Min Tanaka’s summer camp in Hakushu, Japan (1992)
  • Collaboration with Peter Schumann, mainly on projects of the Bread and Puppet Theater in the United States, but also on other projects at the Archa Theatre in Prague or in Germany (1988 – 1995)
  • My teaching experience at the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory in Prague, workshops at the Archa.lab (educational branch of the Archa Theatre), and Archa’s International Summer School of Theatre in Social Context (1992 – present)
  • Workshops and theatre performances in refugee camps and other communities (1997 – 2016 in the Czech Republic, South Africa and the USA)

I will refer to the original source when describing some of the exercises and games, even though they have been transformed for work with untrained performers.