Bronwyn Tweddle (New Zealand)


Since 2002 I have been developing a method for creating unexpected physical images for classic plays, using the body rather than the playtext as the starting point. Utilising a process of random association, a physical score is created for the whole play, which is later justified by integration with the text. Through overcoming the opposition between the text and the imposed physicality, the director and actors discover the rules of the game in the fictional world of the play. Random physical actions appear to supply a metaphorical subtext when read against the words of the play. This method rids actors of cliche and opens up interpretive possibilities that would not have emerged if wed begun with textual analysis. It also forces the audience to engage more actively in drawing meaning from the play.

Bronwyn Tweddle is a theatre director and dramaturge, who has been a lecturer in the Theatre Programme of Victoria University of Wellington since 2001. As a director, Bronwyn has produced her own bilingual adaptations of Heiner Müller’s Hamletmachine (1996, Melbourne), Gertrude Stein’s Dr Faustus Lights the Lights (1998, Berlin), and the New Zealand premiere of Wolfgang Borchert’s The Man Outside (2002, Wellington). She directed Peter Barnes’ adaptation of Frank Wedekind’s Lulu (2005, Dunedin) and Heiner Müller’s Quartettat BATS Theatre (2006, Wellington). Bronwyn was dramaturge for the multi-award-winning Albert Speer at BATS Theatre (Wellington) in 2004 and for Democracy (2005) and The Underpants (2006) at Circa Theatre (Wellington). She has been an Executive Board member of Playmarket: New Zealand’s National Playwrights’ Agency and Script Development Service since 2002. Her research and teaching interests include: physical theatre methodologies; theories of acting and directing; and 20th century German-language performance

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