The birth of Theatre-Rites
DOI link for The birth of Theatre-Rites
The birth of Theatre-Rites book
This chapter explores the emergence of Theatre-Rites whose vision, shared by directors Sue Buckmaster and Penny Bernand, was to tread new ground by creating an entirely different kind of theatre for young people that incorporated performance, installation, animated objects, puppetry, non-theatre sites and discovery through play.
The chapter discusses the emergence of the company’s landmark production, Houseworks (1996–1998) in response to the unfriendliness of site-specific performances for young audiences in the mid-1990s. It also traces the evolution of the company through their earliest shows, including The Lost and Moated Land (1998) and Millworks (1998). Resonances between the emphasis on caring for the experiences of young audiences in each show’s creation and caring for collaborators amid the personal health struggles of the company’s co-directors during the early days of the company are brought to the fore. It also establishes the company’s philosophy of ‘the gift’, emphasising the role of objects as part of a show’s legacy beyond the performance event.