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June 11 , 2011

The Contemporary Ensemble

Interviews with Theatre-Makers


‘Dr. Radosavljević has an excellent and extensive grasp of her subject, and deep understanding of not only the history of these groups, but how they function, and how each contributes to the field of ensemble theatre.’ – David Crespy, University of Missouri, USA

Questions of ensemble – what it is, how it works – are both inherent to a variety of Western theatre traditions, and re-emerging and evolving in striking new ways in the twenty-first century. The Contemporary Ensemble draws together an unprecedented range of original interviews with world-renowned theatre-makers in order to directly address both the former and latter concerns. Reflecting on ‘the ensemble way of working’ within this major new resource are figures including:

Michael Boyd, Hermann Wündrich, Yuri Butusov, Max Stafford-Clark, Elizabeth LeCompte, Lyn Gardner, Adriano Shaplin, Phelim McDermott; and Emma Rice;

representing companies including:

The RSC; The Berliner Ensemble; The Satirikon Theatre; Out of Joint; The Wooster Group; Kneehigh Theatre; Song of the Goat; The Riot Group; The Neo-Futurists; Shadow Casters; and Ontroerend Goed.

All 22 interviews were conducted especially for the collection, and draw upon the author’s rich background working as scholar, educator and dramaturg with a variety of ensembles. The resulting compendium radically re-situates the ensemble in the context of globalisation, higher education and simplistic understandings of ‘text-based’ and ‘devised’ theatre practice, and traces a compelling new line through the contemporary theatre landscape.

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