Collaborating Backstage

Collaborating Backstage : Breaking Barriers for the Creative Network

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Collaboration is the most important facet of any theatrical company. From the performers on stage to the choreographers, designers and technicians working behind the scenes, this book considers all departments working on a production and instructs them on how to unify their individual skills towards a shared goal.
From Vaudeville to classical opera, this book establishes the skills that each specialist brings to the production process before demonstrating how each individual contribution can be utilized in tandem with all other creative teams.

With particular focus on enhancing interdepartmental communication, Collaborating Backstage examines all the challenges that may befall artistic companies and projects made up of many different parts. This book explains how to understand technical jargon within teams that speak a variety of languages and come from different cultural backgrounds; how to recognise and follow the 'unwritten rules' of theatre; and how best to achieve the ultimate creative potential of a team working completely in sync.

Underpinned by incisive theories on performance, communication and creativity, Collaborating Backstage is full of helpful illustrations and innovative methods to achieve effective working relationships in the theatre.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 17.78mm | 482g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 30 bw illus
  • 1350072842
  • 9781350072848

Table of contents


1 Creativity backstage
What this chapter is about
Creative productions
Skills and creativity
The personal bag of experiences
Improving personal creativity
The production's bag of experiences
Improving team creativity
Creativity and communication

2 The scenery of cooperation
What this chapter is about
Multiplying the impact
Hierarchical and egalitarian structures
Department line-ups
Job profiles
Team leaders
The Responsibility Pyramid
The Backstage Network Model
Avenues of communication
Shortcut communication?

3 Intercultural alignment
What this chapter is about
Recipes for cultures
The family
The melting Pot of the performing arts
Regional and social cultures
Cultural themes
Working with culture shocks
The roots of action
Differences and similarities
Perception of time
Stage right"
Establish a language, create a culture

4 Improving conditions
What this chapter is about
What we can learn from chickens
The optimal team
Keystones for commitment
Physical shape
Preparatory research
Mind our own business
Knowing ourselves
Personal requirements
Presenting ourselves
Enabling access
A punchline introduction
The condition of our materials
Body language
Handshake quality
Trust and fear
Avoiding "No!"
Reading routines
Breaking routines
Sense of humor

5 The Creative exchange
What this chapter is about
Freedom through directions
The T-I-M-O technique
Why and when?
Collaborating with the audience

6 Tools and tricks
What this chapter is about
Rehearsals and setup
On the road

7 Summary
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Review quote

I am completely blown away by the quality of this book. As an educator, this book is fantastic, I would even go so far as to say that it could become an essential part of classroom foundation work. The writing is very clear and enjoyable to read. I could definitely see using this as a class textbook ... Niermann emphasizes the value of the individual within the team. It feels like every member of the theatre is a strand that comes together to make a strong rope of teamwork. Niermann also gives real, helpful and attainable advice and guidelines to help the actor and crew members. I highly recommend Collaborating Backstage: Breaking Barriers for the Creative Network. It is an excellent textbook for educators as well as a handbook for personal and professional growth. * OnStage Blog * With Collaborating Backstage, Timo Niermann has managed to create a fine handbook for artists from all branches of the performing arts willing to improve their working processes. The book is full of helpful ideas, concepts, and methods. * GIFT Magazine (Bloomsbury translation) * Collaborating Backstage is a remarkable handbook for practitioners to understand that part of real-life theater activity that is usually invisible to the audience. For researchers, it is an all-encompassing reference work about rules, backgrounds and all those tricks that help ensure a smooth cooperation among the various tribes in the theater, on- and off-stage.
Simply indispensable for those who want to know more about what is going on behind the curtain! * Dr Gabriele Pfeiffer, Institute of Theatre, Filmand Media Studies, University of Vienna, Austria *
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About Timo Niermann

Timo Niermann is a backstage expert who has worked as a performer, director, stage manager, technician in the theatre for almost 20 years in more than 40 countries. He is experienced in various forms of production and performance including classical opera, circus, theatre, music festivals, cruise ships, and fairs. He has obtained degrees in stage technology and theatre science and conducted extensive research into working with people from different cultures, niches and backgrounds and channelling their skills into successful creative outputs.
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