The Playwright and Collaboratively Devised Theater

Research supported by the Network of Ensemble Theaters' Travel & Exchange Network

Vagabond Inventions and visiting writer Zina Camblin explored the role of a playwright inside of a collaborative devising process. Physical actor/ director-generated theater often struggles with a weakness in the craft of language and story. However, involving a playwright in the haphazard process of devising a new work can be challenging. There can be a natural and profound difference of process between devised, physical theater creators and writers who often come from a background of working autonomously. The company spent a week exploring this process in June 2016. Zina and the ensemble developed language and story for the company’s show, A Kingdom, A Chasm, when the project was in a crucial late-stage of development. 


Read the results of our exchange HERE.


Introduction to Theatrical Clown


Clown: the anti-hero, the naïf, the constant failure, the forever hopeful. The theatrical clown is a character who seeks the vertical of the hero, but trips over his feet and falls into the sawdust of the circus ring. This workshop will explore the clown state (state of idiocy, delight, bafflement, and play) and the character-centered, absurd theater that clown work proposes. We will research the edge between comic and tragic and will touch on the worlds of Samuel Beckett.


"I cannot express enough how meaningful the workshop was for me not only in my participating but the information I came away with about myself and how it might be useful in my artistic pursuits."

    Visual Artist, Workshop Participant

Collaboration and Creating New Theater

At the Brooklyn Arts Exchange Teen Arts Conference 2014 

Facilitated by Elisa Matula and Jennifer Sargent


Drawing inspiration from Vagabond Inventions' unique practices, this workshop will explore absurd physical theater and the collaborative devising process. Participants will discover the worlds of the anti-hero and the profane clown, referencing Alfred Jarry's classic King Ubu. Exercises will explore the clown state, grotesque movement, character creation, physical approaches to Jarry's text, and inventing new material through improvisation. Participants will work as an ensemble to create original scenes inspired by Ubu's world and will engage in a process of giving peer feedback and revising their work as group.


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