From the heart of the ensemble: collaborative theatre ensembles in education
This phenomenological study explores the experience of members within Collaborative Theatre Ensembles in theatre education. Theatre educators, theatre professionals, and graduates of high school theatre programs responded to writing prompts and were invited to write personal monologues inspired by their ensemble experiences in an online focus-group. Qualitative research methodology inspired by A/r/tography was selected to explore the theatrical phenomenon of ensemble using the theatrical conventions of script writing and monologues. An analytical thematic framework using inductive analysis was applied to the data in order to listen to experiences within the interconnected elements of connection, commitment, communication, and creativity within ensembles. This thematic and A/r/tographical exploration lead to the writing of a final creative piece as part of the summary. I suggest that this final piece, inspired by the voices of experience emerging from within the ensemble, will allow us to listen with deeper understanding to the experience within collaborative theatre ensembles in education.