An NEH Summer Institute for Higher Education Faculty

Preserving and Transmitting American Ensemble-Based Devised Theatre

June 5—16, 2023 at Pig Iron Theatre Company in Philadelphia, PA

Devised theatre is a highly collaborative but uniquely fragile art form that has existed for generations in communities across the United States. Despite its proliferation as a professional and educational training practice, it suffers from limited scholarship, criticism, and academic study.

This two-week residential Institute has three primary objectives:

  • First, it recognizes that the practice and teaching of devised theatre is moving faster than the archiving and critical study of this long-standing and increasingly important part of the American theatre landscape. The Institute aims to align these two arenas with a deep critical examination of company-based devised theatre, past and present.
  • Second, the Institute intends to preserve and raise awareness of this vital but unevenly documented part of American culture: this highly collaborative but uniquely fragile art form has existed for generations in communities across the United States, but suffers from limited scholarship, criticism, and academic study despite its proliferation as a professional and educational training practice.
  • Third, the institute will foster new collaborations among working artists, conservatory faculty, college/university professors of theatre and performance studies and their students, resulting in improved preservation, innovations in teaching methods, and heightened cultural awareness relating to American ensemble-based devised theatre and its impact over time.

Project Directors Quinn Bauriedel (Pig Iron Theatre Company and the University of the Arts) and Dr. Allen Kuharski (Swarthmore College) are leaders in the field, both in scholarship and in practice. They will be joined by 16 diverse visiting faculty—representing the scholarly and professional sides of the subject—to help uncover, complicate, and illuminate the objectives above.

If you have any questions, please contact us at NEHinstitute@pigiron.org

 

 

 

Preserving and Transmitting American Ensemble-Based Devised Theatre has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.