Devised Theatre is collaborative theatre that is created during an experimental rehearsal process rather than approaching the creation of a performance with the blue print of an already conceived and written script. There is no defined process for creating devised theatre but a loose outline may look something like the following: the devise theatre artist finds an inspiring idea or subject, researches source material and through improvisation and experimentation in the rehearsal space (aka theatre laboratory) begins to piece together a performance inspired by these collaborative efforts. There is no distinct outline for how a devised process should work, nor, is there a definite form for how the final performance may develop in regards to genre. Some devise theater creations have become musicals, others performance art, puppetry shows, clowning, successful commercial productions (for example, War Horse), etcetera.
Devising empowers the theatre artists to explore the creation of theater and gives the theatre artist the skills to create theatre without being dependent upon the commercial theatre. The theatre is recognizing that devised theatre is the catalyst for finding new forms and inspiration for making theatre. Devising has been thriving in Europe since the early 20th century when many theatre artists begin devising in order to find a way to have a free artistic voice in the face of government domination and repression. Devising has been a part of the mainstream theatre training schools in Eastern Europe for well over 30 years and is now finding it’s way into the American theatre training programs. The theatre is recognizing that devised theatre is the catalyst for finding new forms and inspiration for making theatre. The commercial theatre is utilizing devised theatre techniques to create more profound and still profitable theatre.”