How Moment Work Leads to Narrating with the Elements of the Stage

Main Article Content

Lisa Silberman Brenner
Barbara Pitts McAdams

Abstract

In spring of 2017, X University partnered with the Tectonic Theater Project to devise a play with its theatre capstone class entitled A Metamorphosis, inspired by Kafka’s well-known story of a man transformed into a giant insect. This year-long residency provided a full opportunity for students to implement Tectonic’s Level One and Level Two Moment Work training and experience the final mastery of threading Moments into a fully-produced play (Level Three). X students had the opportunity to deepen their understanding of what Tectonic calls “the elements of the stage,” a non-hierarchal inventory used to structure a narrative and heighten theatricality. This essay focuses on how Tectonic’s technique of narrating with the non-textual elements leads to a richer, more engaging theatrical experience—both for the creators and the audience members of the production. 

The authors content that Moment Work helps devisers create a more engaging, impactful artistic experience than working in a traditional (autocratic and text-centric) theatre praxis. Moreover, Moment Work  helped them build skills valued in the professional theatre, such as collaboration and artistic risk-taking. They advocate that Moment Work reaps these benefits because it is a systematic way of creating theatrical narratives. Moment Work proceeds from experimentation (sketching in the rehearsal room) to a product based on the needs of the show. 

Article Details

Section
Articles
Author Biographies

Lisa Silberman Brenner, Drew University

Associate Professor, Theatre

Drew University 

Barbara Pitts McAdams, Tectonic Theater

Company Member, 

Tectonic Theater Project