Edward Lewis, United Kingdom
Edward Lewis holds degrees from The Open, Lancaster and Cambridge universities, and has undertaken Forum Theatre training with Augusto Boal. Inspired by the production of Nicholas Nickleby, about which he writes in The Greatest Shows on Earth edited by John Freeman and published by Libri, he has written and directed for the stage a number of adaptations including Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend. His most recent commissioned work is an adaptation of Emile Zola’s Nana, performed in Russian in Minsk, Belarus, under his direction. This project is a continuation of work which, for the last twenty years, has been created in contexts as varied as war zones, prisons, professional theatres and sites for political intervention. Dividing his time between Britain, Eire and continental Europe, Lewis combines university teaching and applied drama practice with theatre work as director, writer and actor. His most recent publication is a chapter on British University Theatre in Le theatre universitaire. Practiques et experiences edited by Robert Germay and Philippe Poirrier and published by Editions Universitaires de Dijon in October 2013. Most recently he was leading a new drama programme at Soran University in Kurdistan, Iraq, until the military situation in the region made it impossible for him to remain in Iraq.
For over twenty years I have been engaged in adapting novels for performance on stage and screen in collaboration with groups of performers. This workshop is part of an ongoing research project into methods of creating reinterpretations for performance of other existing artistic texts. After an introduction to some of the exercises used by Augusto Boal in his work on the Theatre of the Oppressed to develop physical performance skills in his actors, fine art texts, specifically paintings and/or sculptures will act as a starting point to stimulate the creation of short performances using techniques developed from Boal’s Image Theatre work. If possible these performances will be combined to produce a presentation towards the end of the festival. The workshop should be of interest both to performers seeking to develop their performance skills and to directors, writers and devisers who are looking to expand their creative repertoire.