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Books: Devising Performance: A Critical History

The book charts the development of collaboratively-created performances from the 1950s to the present day. Companies discussed include the Living Theatre, Open Theatre, Australian Performing Group, People Show, Teatro Campesino, Théâtre de Complicité, Legs on the Wall, Forced Entertainment and Third Angel. Against this background of enormous variety, fundamental questions are posed: “What is devised theatre?”; “Why have theatre-makers chosen to devise performances since the 1950s?” and “How has devised performance changed over the last fifty years?”

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble bigartgroup.com and network, blog, and publisher, contemporaryperformance.com. He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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