Delegates and clients often ask us about how we develop our drama-based training programmes. We use an approach to developing our scripts which is not dissimilar to the nature of digital texts; that is to say that they have multiple authors and are highly collaborative. Like the digital medium they are also volatile as the audience make their own decisions about what changes they want the actors to make to the scenes, as it plays out in front of them.
There are six stages to our creative process.
- We research the issues our client wants us to address. This might be via direct observations for subjects such as customer service or patient experience. We also meet with managers and staff, read surveys, reports conducted internally and where the organisation is regulated, external reports too.
- We write a number of character profiles and possible scenarios based on our research.
- We work with our actors to devise the scenes. Devising is a highly collaborative way of working which enables the actors to find the character and improvise dialogue. One of the most famous exponents of this approach is of course the director Mike Leigh.
- Write the scripts based on the devised work with the actors.
- The performance.
- The re-direction of the play by the audience, where the actors improvise based on the comments and interactions of the audience members.
At all time the work is open to change, even during performance, this requires a high level of trust amongst the team for this to be managed. Our work reflects a continual learning conversation, and a lively one at that between our team of facilitators, actors, our clients and delegates.