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Graduate Research in Theatre: Andy Smith (theatremaker/University of Manchester), 'Plays By Committee'

Venue: Online

This talk will explore Andy's current project plays for the people. These works are short pieces that are written to be read and discussed by a group meeting for that purpose, rather than performed by actors for an audience. The form is influenced in part by the lehrstücke (learning plays) of Bertolt Brecht, but also (and perhaps more importantly) by the theatrical and socio-political context in which they are emerging.  

Andy's explorations so far have resulted in the creation of two examples: The Actions tells a story that asks questions about the efficacy of political activism, and was developed in 2018 in collaboration with director Sam Pritchard with the support of The Yard Theatre. The Rule of Six was written during lockdown in 2020, and is designed to be read and discussed by just six audience-participants at a time and location of their choice. Both these plays are available to read and undertake on a pay what you can basis through his website.   

The talk will outline some of the impulses and motivations for creating these works. Andy will reflect on these examples as a development of his practice and research over twenty years, as well as exploring some of the future possibilities for the project. 

Andy Smith is a theatre-maker. His most recent works include the play SUMMIT (2018) and The Rule of Six (2020). He has collaborated closely with Tim Crouch since 2004, most recently co-directing (along with Karl James) the play total immediate collective imminent terrestrial salvation (2019). He is a lecturer in theatre practice at The University of Manchester.

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