Editorial

Feature in Issue 13-2 | Summer 2001

As this is my first issue as editor of Total Theatre Magazine, it seemed an opportune time to ask, ‘What is Total Theatre?’ When, as an organisation, we changed our name from Mime Action Group to Total Theatre, we embraced a term that already carried a wealth of meanings and we continue to add meanings to the term in the diversity of work created under that umbrella. Some of these meanings are discussed in my article on the subject. This question of definition is related to a discussion of the roles that both the organisation (now known as Total Theatre Network) and the magazine it publishes occupy. Who and what do we represent in the ever-changing performance world?

I consider Total Theatre Magazine to hold a special place in that world as a publication that is written by and for artists working in physical and visual performance. It is the balance between reportage from the front line of art-making and critical appraisal of that art which gives the magazine its special quality. In this issue, there is plenty of both: an article by David Harradine on collaborations between artists and scientists; a report on the Wrights and Sites project by Phil Smith; a performance diary from Live Artist Miriam King: and, following on from our Critical Practice discussion on the role of the director in physical and visual performance, an article by Alex Mermikides on the working processes of the David Glass Ensemble.

Talking of Critical Practice, our most recent seminar was on street theatre and performance in public spaces. We have a report on the discussion and an article by Edward Taylor on one of his favourite companies, Royal de Luxe. Education and training are on the agenda too: for many artists the process of learning and developing their artform is just as important as any ‘product’ that ensues from that process. Dick McCaw explores the relationship between form and freedom in the learning process, and Charlie Hull reports on the pleasures and problems of teaching physical performance to teenagers.

As always, there are reviews aplenty and our listings section has details of many exciting new projects – so whether you are looking for workshops, details of funding schemes or performances, please browse and choose.

It just remains for me to say thank you to all our contributors, to the editorial group and to last issue’s guest editor Toby Mitchell for all their hard work. I’m pleased to welcome Toby in his new role as the magazine’s designer and production editor. I’d also like to give a vote of appreciation to outgoing editor John Daniel for his five years of work developing Total Theatre Magazine into such a well-respected publication: long may it remain so.

This article in the magazine

Issue 13-2
p. 4