Commotion– a documentary film

Commotion is a partnership of creativity researchers, professional theatre artists, high school drama teachers and youth from Niagara, Canada. We formed to discover the ‘best practices’ that would enable students to find their voice and create their own theatre. In this ‘How-To’ educational documentary, the group experiences the creative devising process, RSVP (originally developed by Lawrence and Anna Halprin). Students play with resources and, through improvisation, they discover story, characters and issues. Together the group evaluates and selects meaningful moments that make up their theatre. Over Commotion’s twelve-week program, guided by team facilitators, the youth weave the moments into one-act plays. This film documents our ninety young creators at work, our ten original plays being made, and the twelve key exercises that we used.
Music by John Metcalfe.




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About Gyllian Raby

I studied theatre at Manchester University and University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Keith Johnston and Richard Fowler were my teachers. I co-founded Calgary's One Yellow Rabbit Theatre, a physical devised theatre company that, 30 years later, still thrives internationally. For five seasons I was artistic director of Edmonton’s Northern Light Theatre, then I free-lanced, directing with large and small theatres across Canada and the U.S. before joining the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University. Here, I teach script writing, acting,directing, and devising; I investigate the relation of dramaturgy and creative process. This year I produced an adaptation of Cree artist Marvin Francis' epic poem City Treaty and Mnemonic by Theatre de Complicité.

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