Monday, June 25, 2012

We Don't Need No Playwright: How Ensemble-Created Work Is Changing L.A. Theater - Page 1 - Stage - Los Angeles - LA Weekly:

A row of actors sitting side by side in chairs, collectively unrolling a ball of string. The character of Death stands with a pair of scissors, leaning over a seated actor on one side, snipping strands of string as it unfurls. The rope of life, some long strands, some short, snipped capriciously, falling to the floor in piles, like tiny corpses tumbling into a graveyard. The scene is from a workshop production of Nancy Keystone's An Alcestis Project, commissioned by and presented at the Getty Villa. Playwright-director Keystone didn't conjure the scene while sitting at a computer in her office. It was created in collaboration with improvisations and exercises by her acting company, Critical Mass Performance Group.

"Theaters have to face the reality that new work is being created by ensembles as well as playwrights. So we have to look at the whole spectrum of the way new work is created," says Diane Rodriguez, Center Theatre Group's associate producer and director of new play production.

"There is definitely a movement afoot," she adds.