John Somers is an Honorary Fellow in Applied Drama in the School of Arts Languages and Literatures, University of Exeter, England. He is Founding Editor of the journal Research in Drama Education and Founding Director of the Exeter International Applied Drama Conference. He was founder and Artistic Director of Exstream Theatre Company which specialised is interactive theatre in non-theatre sites. He has extensive experience of making drama in a variety of contexts, including schools. He is a specialist in innovative forms of community theatre. He is worldwide recognized and got international prices, in 2003 from the American Alliance of Theatre and Education Special Recognition Award and 2011 from the Turkish Drama Association Lifetime Achievement Award.
Interactive Theatre programmes are tailor-made for particular audiences and delivered in ways which make it possible for an audience to engage with relevant, often ethical, issues. The style of acting used in Interactive Theatre is usually highly naturalistic and because of the intimacy of the context, the actors appear to be behaving as if in a normal room. Improvisation is the central technique for researching the shape of the drama we make within a well-defined Interactive Theatre structure. As far as possible, participants fill the programme with their own ideas – filtered and selected by group decision-making. The workshop ends with a performance of that programme in the evening of day 5. This approach requires participants to research an agreed, common topic before coming to the workshop so everyone has knowledge to contribute.
More information: http://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/drama/staff/jsomers/