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Since it was founded in 1991, British theatre company Stan's Cafe has garnered an international reputation for artistic innovation, and prolific, eclectic performance projects. Their work has toured nationally and internationally, with 2003's Of All The People In All The World having been performed in over fifty cities around the world. Embracing site-specific, immersive, durational, non-text-based as well as scripted work, Stan's Cafe's portfolio defies simple categorization. Running through all their work however is a collaborative devising process that champions experimentation and improvisation. Devising Theatre with Stan's Cafe reveals and reflects on their theatre-making process, providing an illuminating and accessible account of their work and the approaches, techniques and philosophies which underpin and inspire it. Co-authored by artistic director James Yarker and Dr Mark Crossley (De Montfort University, UK), the book is both a personal record of their work and the perfect companion to anyone looking to make their own original theatre or performance work.
Structured around key elements of their artistic process, Devising Theatre with Stan's Cafe records and explores the company's distinctive approach to such areas as: ideas creation and devising; dramaturgy and the rehearsal process; the place and types of text in their work; mise en scene; space, location and time; the nature of ensemble practice and types of performance; editing and refining the performance, and the role of the audience within the performance. Every chapter is augmented by interviews with company members, practical exercises and brief summaries of the concepts and practitioners covered.
For theatre students, fans and theatre-makers, Devising Theatre with Stan's Cafe is an inspiring account and practical guide to contemporary performance practice.