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Collective Creation

Term to define the process by which a group of theatre artists working together create a play. The group may comprise only actors, but may also include a director, a playwright and designers.

The process may begin as a community project in which the theatre artists interview participants in historical events or research the subject, and then fashion - through song, anecdote or scene - a finished work. Many of Canada's notable works were created in this way, such as the seminal Paper Wheat.

Though collective creation was most popular in the late 1960s and 1970s, there are still companies and theatre schools which work collectively, such as SIN Productions, Montreal.

Among companies which have produced important collective creations are Toronto Workshop Productions/TWP (Ten Lost Years); Theatre Passe Muraille (1837: The Farmers' Revolt); Nightwood Theatre (This is For You, Anna); Stacey Christodoulou's The Other Theatre (Carlos in Therapy among others).

Outside of the major centres, collective creation is still used to help new companies approach the community they wish to serve, such as Theatre & Company (This Side Up 1988); 4th Line Theatre (The Moodie Traill 1993); and Theatre Kingston (Princess Street: The Great Divide).

Profile by Gaetan Charlebois

Last updated 2020-11-07