Stage director Will Weigler analyzed nearly 100 stories from people about their most unforgettable experiences at the theatre, and turned the results of his research into a vocabulary of staging strategies that anyone can access to powerfully express the stories they want to tell through theatre. Combining theory with application, The Alchemy of Astonishment, with its supplementary deck of teaching cards, is a useful resource for scholars, educators, students, theatre goers, and theatre artists to share a language that will allow them to meet as equitable partners in the creative co-authorship and staging of dynamic and compelling plays.
Subjects: theater, production and direction, epiphanies, stage-setting and scenery, audiences
Will Weigler is an award-winning community-based theatre director, playwright, and producer based in Victoria, BC. He is the author of several books including Strategies for Playbuilding: Helping Groups Translate Issues into Theatre, From the Heart: How 100 Canadians Created an Unconventional Theatre Performance about Reconciliation, Laughing Allowed! — A How-to Guide for Making a Physical Comedy Show to Build Neighbourhood Resilience (co-author), and forthcoming in 2018 — Web of Performance: An Ensemble Workbook for Youth (co-editor/co-author).
THE ALCHEMY OF ASTONISHMENT: Engaging the Power of Theatre
Chapter 1 | PARTNERING WITH THE AUDIENCE
Chapter 2 | MAKING IT COMPELLING
Chapter 3 | GEST
Chapter 4 | OVER TO YOU
Chapter 5 | TOUCHING THE LIVE WIRE
NOTES ON USING THE STAGING STRATEGIES CARDS
“With this book and its supplementary deck of teaching cards, Will offers direct access to creating… images [of magnificence] on stage. Beautifully observed and meticulously explained, community performers and trained professionals will treasure it.” – Richard Owen Geer, PhD, Community Performance Director
“Reading along, I experienced something of the feeling of being let in on a magician’s secret knowledge, and also the pleasure of engaging with a vivid storyteller who enables the reader to see and feel as well as hear what is being told. I can imagine so many uses for this book as a teaching aid, an inspirational instruction manual for artists, even a creative spur for sermons, speeches, and conversations having nothing much to do with theatre.” – From the foreword by Arlene Goldbard
Victoria writer examines the power of theatre – Adrian Chamberlain | Times Colonist | May 27, 2017
“Many of us have experienced unforgettable — even transformative — moments at the theatre. These can provide audiences with unexpected insight, even making us gasp out aloud. In Will Weigler’s new book, The Alchemy of Astonishment: Engaging the Power of Theatre, the Victoria director, actor and writer analyses what makes such moments so memorable.”
Winner of the 2017 Distinguished Book Award from the American Alliance for Theatre & Education.
Based in Washington DC, the American Alliance for Theatre & Education serves and inspires a growing collective of theatre artists, educators, and scholars committed to transforming young people and communities through the theatre arts.
The Distinguished Book Award honors an author and publisher for the outstanding book relating to any aspect of the field published during the past calendar year (January through December).The book is one in which the scholarship or resources of the field is enhanced by its publication. Criteria may include, but are not limited to, logic and consistency of organization, thoroughness of topic coverage, writing style, philosophy and approach; and appropriateness for intended audience.