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Verbatim Technique

Suitable for all experience levels

In order to create an authentic piece of verbatim theatre, it is vital to build honest relationships with the people at the heart of the story, and an intimate connection to the world or locale. In this practical workshop, I share my personal experiences and the practices that I have developed through writing my own verbatim dramas; The Countess and In the Tall Grass.

Workshop Overview

In this practical masterclass, I share my personal experiences of verbatim theatre to inspire an immersive approach to creating authentic and ethical verbatim theatre. By exploring and discussing the work of well-known verbatim playwrights including Alecky Blythe (London Road) and Moisés Kaufman's Tectonic Theater Project (The Laramie Project), participants will gain an understanding of the technique, including the ethics, practicalities, and logistics of creating a verbatim play.

I distill my process, from identifying a good story to the intensive research period that follows. I explain how to build relationships with potential contributors, how to conduct a great interview, and finally, the transcription and editing process - shaping the collected source material to form an original and dynamic piece of theatre. Specifically, I discuss the different practices I employed on both The Countess and In the Tall Grass, sharing raw interview recordings and footage, as well as clips from performances of both pieces.

I am passionate about this organic method of theatre-making and storytelling and am excited to be able to share my experiences with writers who may be discovering the technique for the first time. Verbatim plays attract high-profile criticism and spark impassioned debate - writing a good one is all about the ability to cut to the core of a story in a way that resonates with people. That's what makes it a powerful way to engage with an audience and tell true stories on stage.

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Participant Feedback

It was so well planned and executed; a variety of tools were offered to help me
continue working on my writing skills, specifically for verbatim theatre.


(adverb & adjective)

in exactly the same words as were used originally.

​The verbatim technique is a form of documentary theatre in which plays are constructed from the precise words spoken by people interviewed about a particular event or topic. This technique allows you to deliver rich authentic writing by capturing the natural rhythm of a contributor's speech, absorbing all the textures, sounds, and fabric of real life. 

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