Collage Drama: 13 Great Playbuilding Resources for Students and Teachers

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Collage drama normally involves original improvised material, group-devised through the act of playbuilding. The form often includes a number of different performance styles deliberately juxtaposing against each other. The narrative of collage drama is usually episodic, consisting of various scenes linked only by a common theme such as the environment, peer pressure, body image, or global warming. Collage drama is regularly used in the classroom and can exist purely as a process for learning or extend through to performance, if desired. This page consists of a number of playbuilding and collage drama resources for students and teachers. – Justin Cash

Collage Drama Resources

Comprehensive unit outline of how to create a collage drama based on the theme of body image. Includes detailed steps and a range of activities and styles.

Excellent teacher resource pack on devising and enesmble building from London-based international theatre troup Complicité. Includes information, exercises and activities about the nature of space, ensemble work, the language of movement, tension, rhythm, creating characters, working from text, roles within the group, the creative environment, keeping records, reading aloud as a group, choosing and exploring a subject, gathering the material together, comsolidation, and presentation.

Room ( Devised A Level, Physical Theatre- inspired by Frantic, DV8, Gecko)

Useful resource (text of video) for upper secondary level on devising drama in the classroom. Includes information and activities about stereotypes and spontaenous improvisation, theatre practitioners, personal props, phyiscal environment, rehearsal techniques, and suggested play texts to be used as stimulus.

Collage drama unit for Year 8 level exploring the experiences of World War I and World War II from a range of different perspectives (got to p.23).

Outstanding teacher and student resource 10 Steps to Collaborative Playbuilding compiled by Sydney Theatre Company. Collage theatre resources in the document include deciding on the central statement or theme, narrative structure options, choices for theatre styles to be used in the drama, devising and rehearsing, and design decisions to be made

Collage Drama

A form of theatre characterised by a collection of material, selected around a theme and shaped into a dramatic performance. The material may be selected from diverse sources such as plays, poetry, prose, songs, music, dance, newspapers, electronic media, improvisational workshops. This selection is workshopped, linked, shaped and rehearsed until a performance playtext is created..”

— Wall, D. & Lawson, A. 1997, ‘Collage Drama’, QADIE Says, vol. 19, no. 2, March

Excellent teacher resource for secondary drama students on the concept of playbuilding a collage drama using a novel as pretext or stimulus.

Collage Drama

Prezi outlining how a student-created collage drama can be linked to both political theatre and epic theatre.

Primary drama playbuilding class outline from the New South Wales Department of Education.

Excellent collage drama (and verbatim theatre) resource for teachers and students, exploring workshop activities for the classroom.

Frantic Assembly Masterclass: Building Blocks for Devising

Prezi outline of a Year 10 Drama unit on collage drama outlining the playbuilding steps involved from deciding on a theme through to presentation.

Secondary drama unit Group Devising – Using Research as Stimulus from the New South Wales Department of Education.

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