Berkshire Theater is proud to present its fall production this weekend, an original student work called The Process. The play was devised over a 10-week rehearsal period by students and faculty in the theater program.
The Process imagines a dystopian world in which citizens live in ranked zones surrounded by a vast, uninhabitable wasteland. With food and resources in short supply, a governing body known as “the Committee” summons a group of young adults and one child from differing public ranks to a locked room to undergo “the Process.” The participants know only that a decision with far-reaching ramifications is going to be handed down as a result of what they say and do. Is the Committee looking out for the interest of its citizens or do they have something else in mind?
Perhaps the most unique thing about the play might be how it was developed. Through an approach known as “devised theater,” The Process was formed collaboratively through structured improv. In early rehearsals, open-ended improv scenes were employed to explore a variety of ideas, themes, and situations. Once firm ideas of characters, motivations, and storyline were agreed upon, actors were then asked to improvise ideas to discover the path of the scenes, lines of dialogue, staging ideas, and keen insights. These ideas were observed, notated, and rehearsed. Through this iterative process, each scene (and by extension the whole play) was honed into a finished script.
In fact, by the time an audience watches the play, the actors will know the material even better than if they'd started with a script. . . because they created all of it themselves. This way of developing a play invariably engenders honest observations from its participants and natural performances from its actors. We hope that people will come on out and enjoy the work that we created!
The Process is showing Friday, November 2nd and Saturday, November 3rd at 7:30 pm in the School’s Allen Theater. There is a $2.00 suggested donation at the door. The material is suitable for all ages, though the subject matter is best for children 10 and up.