Toward a Workshop in Theatre Phenomenology

Daniel W. Johnston
1969 PARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research  
This text and accompanying audio-visual files document a theatre workshop aimed at investigating how philosophical phenomenology might be useful in the creative process. Phenomenology is understood here as the study of the way the world shows itself to conscious experience through practical engagement with the world. The workshop involved five professional actors and four undergraduates working on Act II of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard over two days. Basic concepts of phenomenology were
more » ... troduced including Worldhood, Being-with-others, Moods, and Temporality. Each participant used a digital voice recorder to reflect on a series of exercises and tasks aimed at focusing attention on the experience of objects, places, and rehearsal itself. The workshop had three phases: developing an awareness of one's own experience of the world, applying the same aspects of worldhood to a character, and reflection on the creative process of the actor in the part. Given the limited timeframe of the rehearsal, this was merely a preliminary examination of how phenomenology might inform and contribute to the artistic process of theatre-making. Rather than constituting an entirely new approach to rehearsal, theatre phenomenology might enable performers to develop an awareness of their own engagement with the world and creative practice.
doi:10.33011/partake.v2i1.405 fatcat:vym2w5sw5ra5dmwp2xoexew52y