FAQ: What Is The Verbatim Theatre?

What is the purpose of Verbatim Theatre?

Verbatim theatre is theatre made from real people’s words. A form of documentary theatre, it allows theatre makers to explore events and themes through the words of people at the heart of them, and was hugely influential in the revival of political theatre at the beginning of the 21st Century.

What are the characteristics of Verbatim Theatre?

Verbatim Theatre uses a process in which a playwright interviews subjects on a particular topic and issue, records the responses, then use those words exactly as they are – no changes.

What are some examples of verbatim Theatre?

High-profile pieces of verbatim theatre include The Laramie Project (2000) by Moises Kaufman & members of the Tectonic Theater Project and its sequel, The Laramie Project-Ten Years Later, both about the murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998; Talking to Terrorists by Robin Soans, My Name is Rachel Corrie

Who invented verbatim Theatre?

Anna Deavere Smith is credited with pioneering the form, from her one woman plays in the early 90s about the riots in Crown Heights and Los Angeles.

Why is verbatim theatre bad?

Give them space instead of taking their words. The moment verbatim theatre forgets that it’s theatre, the issues with the form – the editorial hand, the interviewer-interviewee imbalance, the violence of appropriating the voices of others – become all the more apparent for going unacknowledged.

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Where did verbatim theatre come from?

Many Verbatim plays started in Germany around the 1950’s, such as The Bentley play, the Steve beaker trial and other various court trials.

Is verbatim Theatre ethical?

Verbatim theatre practitioners such as Moisés Kaufman, Alecky Blythe, Hilary Halba and Stuart Young acknowledge the ethical responsibility theatre makers feel to honour and accurately re-present their interviewees in their work.

What is massaged verbatim?

3The term ‘massaged verbatim’ was coined by Australian playwright Alana Valentine to designate the opposite of ‘pure verbatim’, the use of verbatim techniques to create fiction and the shaping of the interviews around an invented narrative structure.

What are the techniques used in drama?

Dramatic conventions

  • slow motion.
  • soliloquy (a solo speech by an actor that gives an insight into what they are thinking)
  • adding narration.
  • use of an ‘aside’ (when a character directly addresses the audience to comment within a scene)
  • breaking into song (as in Musical theatre)
  • using a chorus to comment upon the action.

Does verbatim theatre still talk the nation talk?

As early as 2007, theatre critic Lyn Gardner asked herself the following question in an article written for The Guardian: “Is the shine on verbatim theatre starting to tarnish?”. In short, and to return to the title of this article, verbatim theatre no longer talks the nation talk.

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