Verbatim Theatre Lesson 1: What is Verbatim Theatre?

Task 1

Watch this clip from YouTube:

Make some notes on your thoughts on the style of drama and your initial response to it. It is 15 minutes long, but you will only need to watch the first 4 to 5 minutes. Of course, you can watch the whole thing if you want.

If you have more time and/or want something more hard hitting then watch this example by A2 students about the Hillsborough Disaster.

Task 2

Download this worksheet or go to this web page. Here is a list of websites and YouTube videos you can use to do some research into Verbatim Theatre. Access what you need (there is a lot there) so that you feel you’ve got a sound understanding of the genre of theatre.

Take notes under these headings:

  • What is Verbatim Theatre?
  • What are the most important ways of working with Verbatim Theatre?
  • Why would a theatre company choose to make a piece of Verbatim Theatre?
  • What problems do you have to over come when making a piece of Verbatim Theatre?
  • What top tips have you gained from your research on Verbatim Theatre?

Task 3

You are going to write a pitch for an idea for a piece of Verbatim Theatre. Take the time now to think about what different ideas you could write a piece of Verbatim Theatre about. What would be interesting to research? Who could you talk to and interview? What experiences are important to you? Take this time now to make a mind map of different ideas.

Task 4

Write your pitch now. It must be no more than half a page of A4 type or writing. It needs to cover the following points:

  1. Overview of your content: What topic or issue do you want to cover? Why do you want to cover it?
  2. Details of initial ideas: How do you think that this will be performed? What ideas do you initially have to turn this into a performance?
  3. Logistics: How do you think you can undertake the research for this idea? Who do you need to talk to? How are you going to contact them?
  4. Audience: Why would an audience be interested in coming to see this performance? What will they learn from it?

Email your pitch to your teacher for feedback.