Directing the responsive touring performer
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This thesis employs reflective practitioner research to describe and analyze the impact of prioritizing responsiveness within the pre-production, rehearsal, and performances processes of directing a touring play for young audiences. As a director of a Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) play with university actors, I made choices throughout the production process to prioritize a cosmopolitan approach to theatre making and performance in pursuit of moments of radiant exchange between myself and the actors as well as between the actors and the audiences. Throughout this document I join personal stories from my process as a director with actor reflections in order to better understand the ways in which prioritizing responsiveness influenced the actors’ experience and in turn the audiences’ experience. This document invites further discussion with theatre makers and educators on the hopeful subversion of the director as a play’s primary interpretive artist as well as the interrogation of assumptions regarding appropriate audience behavior.