Devised Theatre Festival by the fourth-year theatre class

(Courtesy of York University)

From April 5 to 9, the fourth-year devised theatre class will present the Devised Theatre Festival online, with two shows premiering on April 5 and 6 and streaming available until April 9. 

“The Devised Theatre Festival is the fruition of several months of intensive work from this year’s fourth-year devised theatre class,” says David Jansen, an assistant professor in the theatre department. “It’s their capstone project and a big achievement to mark the end of their undergraduate devised theatre training. 

“In September, the class of 21 divided into four separate companies, assembled their own creative teams, wrote, designed, rehearsed, staged, and then filmed and edited their plays. It’s a huge endeavour!”

While the festival has come to fruition by the fourth-year devised theatre students, Jansen adds that “they have also involved second- and third-year performance creation students as actors, designers, dramaturges, and stage managers, as well as film students to shoot and edit the shows. They’ve even got some recent graduates involved.”

“Over the past three years, we have been immersed in the history and theoretical processes of devising, exploring new and experimental ways to create theatre. This year, we have four production companies and four shows that will be premiering in either series A or series B starting April 5,” says David Čivčić, a fourth-year devised theatre student. 

Yasmine Amirkhani, a fourth-year devised theatre student and publicity representative for the festival, explains that the students have had the opportunity to have hands-on experience with the production. “I am part of The Great Escape Collective presenting our show The Tabella. For the company, I acted as playwright, publicist, and performer, but a lot of the process was collaborative.”

Amirkhani explains that “every show came from the heart of the people within each company. They really show off who we all are as artists and also what we missed from theatre these past couple of years.”

“Throughout the development of this year’s festival, each company has worked extremely hard to create four exciting and compelling productions, ranging in theme from a magical-realist drama, a fast-paced existential romp, a horrifying family reunion, and a scientific thriller,” adds Megan Keatings, a fourth-year devised theatre student and co-production manager for the festival.

“This year, the Devised Theatre Festival premiers under the theme of ‘Lights-Up’, to symbolize the revival of theatre after a long period of lockdown,” says Keatings.

Lizzy Evagelacopoulos, a fourth-year devised theatre student who is involved with marketing and publicity for the festival, adds that each piece was uniquely created, and that “there will be something for everyone to enjoy.”

“Due to the Omicron variant, we were unable to have audiences in the space with us, but fortunately, we filmed everything in-person and on-location following COVID-19 guidelines and protocols. This has granted us a unique opportunity to collaborate with some of our friends in film and make some truly revolutionary art,” adds Čivčić.

To learn more about this event, click here

About the Author

By Sydney Ewert

Arts Editor

Sydney is in her third year at York University studying Dance. She loves to travel and explore new places. When Sydney is not editing, working, or studying for her classes, she is likely going for walks or learning new recipes.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments