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  • emilymccdesign

The Collaboration conundrum - starting to jot down my thoughts

For a couple of years now, I've been bouncing around ideas on theatrical design collaboration. I think it's an under-appreciated aspect of theatre-making, with not much written about it compared to directing or playwriting or dramaturgy. Mostly, this topic has been approached through individual designers writing about their own methods, or putting instructions into textbooks (but based on their own methods). As a result it can be hard to find more big-picture analyses of the topic. I'm hoping to start, in my own small way, to fill this gap, but because the topic has a lot of different ways it can be approached, it has been difficult to choose just one to start with. Sometimes, my brain feels a bit like this:


Here's what I've done so far:

- published an article in HowlRound on the usefulness of defining different modes of collaboration: https://howlround.com/designing-collaboration-search-taxonomy-collaborative-methods

- started working on a case study of Northwestern's MFA program and their sequence of Collaboration courses (interviewing teachers and alumni who have taken or taught the courses between 2003 and 2018)

- drafting an article on what theatrical design collaboration has to teach business project teams


These have all been interesting projects to work on, but I often feel pulled in different directions. So I will try adding this approach - using this blog format to jot down shorter thoughts as they come to me, or material I find in other formats (articles, podcasts, interviews, etc) that have connections to collaboration. My hope is that either these shorter pieces will start to coalesce around a common theme that could form some longer writing; or this can start to find an audience that is interested in furthering this conversation; or BOTH! Let's see how it goes!


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