Verbatim Theatre

Naomi Holcombe
Sunday, December 1, 2019

By the end of this scheme of work, learners will have understood what Verbatim Theatre is, through a practical exploration of four texts (London Road; Deep Cut; The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later; The Permanent Way) with the aim of creating their own project/devised piece. They will understand that its presentation can take different forms and they will practise the techniques inspired by different practitioners and playwrights in order to create their own devised work. They will be able to appreciate the style and format of Verbatim Theatre, alongside its impact on contemporary audiences. This scheme covers either 6 lessons or 6 ‘weeks’ of teaching, depending on how much time you have and how many lessons per week. I have based the structure around the idea of two lessons a week, with each lesson being around an hour in length. Therefore ‘week 1’ should be 2 hours' worth of lessons and so on, totalling 12 hours. If you don't have time for this, just do a single lesson on each (6 hours). There is more than 12 hours' worth of content here, so you can build this scheme into a much longer project if you wish. This scheme is not written with a specific exam board in mind, but I have covered how this work could fit into the syllabus of Eduqas, AQA and Edexcel. AQA specifically, has Verbatim Theatre and the work of Alecky Blythe on their prescribed practitioners' list for Components 2 and 3. You could also use this style for Eduqas' Component 2, ‘text in action’ at A level and Edexcel's Component 1, devising theatre, as it's a recognised theatre style. I would use this with a Year 12 group at A level to introduce them to a devised project in advance of their assessed practical exam. Although this is a devised project that is not being examined, students may wish to use this style for their upcoming examined devised work within different syllabus. Edexcel: Component 1 devised work and written portfolio of evidence, Eduqas: Component 2 devised work and the process and evaluation report, AQA: Component 2 or 3 devised work and the written working notebook/reflective report. You can therefore set homework throughout this scheme in relation to your syllabus and its research documentation; of both the subject and the playwrights/practitioners, theatrical interpretation of textual extracts, development of ideas and how the stimulus material was shaped and used for the final performance. This can be handed in at the end of the scheme and marked according to your syllabus's mark schemes as a practice assessment.

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