TheatreNI and Dance Resource Base (DRB) were delighted to welcome acclaimed US choreographer and theatre maker, Liz Lerman, to Belfast in June, to conduct training workshops in Critical Response Process (CRP). Liz has previously provided CRP training for Federation of Scottish Theatre, The Place, London, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Bealtaine, Yale School of Drama, Harvard University, Tisch School of the Arts and Ausdance.
As part of her TheatreNI and Dance Resource Base itinerary, Liz joined Janice Kernoghan at Replay’s Theatre Company’s inclusion conference The Adventure Collective to deliver a talk on feedback processes and CRP. She then delivered a two-day intensive CRP workshop for over 31 theatre and performing arts practitioners.
CRP, while focusing on the performing arts, is suitable for all artists interested in developing a feedback process for the creative development of their own work, as well as for producers, programmers, administrators or others involved in artist development. It is designed as a method for giving and receiving, non-judgemental and useful feedback from peers, the public and experts.
TheatreNI and DRB partnered with the Wales Millennium Centre who also delivered training to local practitioners. The intention is in the longer term to provide an opportunity for NI practitioners to be part of a growing and nurturing cohort of CRP trained practitioners from across the UK and Ireland, who can support each other, and others, to continue developing high-quality performance work.
On day one of the workshop, Liz told participants that the best outcome for feedback is that the practitioner should be enthused about getting back to work! Developed by Liz, and in use for over twenty years, CRP has deepened the dialogue between theatre makers and their audiences, enhanced learning between teachers and students and has proven valuable to all kinds of creative endeavours, work situations, and collaborative relationships within and beyond the arts.
TNI and DRB were delighted that the two-day intensive workshop was at capacity, and attended by practitioners of varying levels of experience from across NI and ROI including: actors, theatre-makers, playwrights, artistic directors, choreographers, arts managers and educators.
Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, with the majority intending to continue using CRP. Participants particularly enjoyed the ethos of CRP as designed ‘to help the artist produce their best work’. Here are just some of the comments from our participants:
‘This is one of the most important training opportunities that has been offered in NI this year.’
‘It will encourage me to turn doubts into questions and to seek out specific questions and answers.’
‘I think the training is going to have a massive impact on my future practice. This was an absolutely wonderful and mind opening experience.’
‘Makes me want to get a move on!’
‘it was wonderful to meet and work with so many other artists from different disciplines.’
‘A dramatic shift in my perception and practice of giving and receiving feedback with potential to enhance my creative process.’
‘The CRP really brought out a range of skills that I wasn’t aware that I had!’
‘CRP is an invaluable tool in many artforms and informal/formal settings. The accessibility and structure makes it possible to really analyse, critique and develop work in a very positive way.’
‘Simple to learn. A highly effective and nuanced process of feedback.’
To read more detailed feedback from two of our participants click here.
Belfast City Council were the primary funder of the CRP training with support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The two main project partners were TheatreNI and Dance Resource Base with Wales Millennium Centre, Lyric Theatre, Replay Theatre Company, Maiden Voyage Dance and Dance Ireland. Our deepest gratitude to the Lyric Theatre who hosted the CRP workshops.