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A Playwright's Manuscript

Jenny De Rueck

Year: 2003, 45 mins
Code: JD-Play
ISBN: 0-64643201-X

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This video documents the making of a piece of theatre in education for children. Filmed over a semester, the video offers an account of the complex processes involved in taking an idea for a performance (the play, Shakespeare at Sea, written especially for theatre and drama students at Murdoch University) from the original script phase through to a professional performance.

Writer/director Jenny de Reuck is interviewed about the process she has refined in her theatre in education classes and she offers an analysis of an effective production process with clips from the workshops on dance, circus skills, improvisation and auditions that the students undertake. Running in tandem through the narrative are interviews with the set designer, stage manager, and actors. Each facet is linked to the developing project. The video concludes with a sense of the excitement that builds as a production approaches and the script ideas of the early part of the process are realized in a vibrant performance where costumes, lighting, sets, music and sound are brought together.

Ideal for teachers of drama at all levels (primary, secondary, tertiary), the documentary offers an in-depth but practical look at the various elements required to produce a professional piece of theatre in education with young people for young people.

Jenny de Reuck is an Associate Professor in the Theatre and Drama Programme at Murdoch University in Western Australia. She writes and directs original plays for children that are performed annually in Nexus Theatre on campus and have been produced as far afield as Chile, Malaysia and Singapore. Her research and practice include the diverse fields of Theatre in Education and Shakespearean adaptations but her primary objective is to offer her students and their audiences a provocative - as well as entertaining - theatrical experience.

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