Empowering the next generation of actors through the creation of student-centred self-devised dramatic work

Andrew Lewis and Lyndall Adams

Full text | PDF


There has been a demise of many Australian theatre companies over the past 20 years, along with a decrease in long-form television series. As a result, there is less work available for graduating actors from conservatoires. In this precarious landscape, acting conservatoires need to appraise how actors are trained and assess how to better empower them as independent artists. One such approach is the development of devised theatre work within a conservatoire actor training structure. This article charts the development of a new devised work and the dynamics involved in theatre co-creation via student-centred collaboration. Our research examines the existing pedagogical practices in the current curriculum of the Bachelor of Arts (Acting) course at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and explores potential changes that may be implemented to the current curriculum. We suggest there is room to enhance the program, encourage resilience in the next generation of actors and contribute new approaches through the creation of devised work. The results of our study aim to encourage and foster agency for student actors, developing necessary skills for creating their own work and empowering their choices as artists.


Devised Theatre; Conservatoire Actor Training; Co-creation; Student-centred Learning; Pedagogy

To cite this article

Lewis, Andrew and Lyndall Adams. “Empowering the next generation of actors through the creation of student-centred self-devised dramatic work.” Fusion Journal, no. 15, 2019, pp. 119-131. http://www.fusion-journal.com/empowering-the-next-generation-of-actors-through-the-creation-of-student-centred-self-devised-dramatic-work/

First published online: March 2019

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Copyright © Fusion Journal