Tag Archives: Will Weigler

2019 AATE Research Award – Web of Performance

WINNER! 2019 American Alliance for Theatre Education Research Award

This award honors scholars whose research contributes significantly to the field of drama/theatre with or for young people.


Download the book for free: http://dspace.library.uvic.ca/handle/1828/9426.
Buy a hard copy from the UVic Bookstore: https://www.uvicbookstore.ca/general/browse/draref/9781550586220
Published under a CC BY-NC-SA license

The field of performance studies involves much more than actors on a stage. It is based on the idea that nearly everything we do is related to performing. We’ve called this book The Web of Performance because, like a spider’s web, performance connects at multiple points to everything around it. Once you begin to understand how it all works—how performance is connected to all aspects of our lives.

For Students
If you love being involved in theatre and you’re also searching for opportunities to make a positive difference in your community, this workbook was written for you. You may think that theatre and all the other things you are passionate about represent different directions in your life, but they don’t have to be separate. They can converge in performance studies, a category of theatre based on the idea that nearly everything we do is related to performing. Once you begin to understand how performance is connected to all aspects of our lives, you can use that knowledge to invent, create, and build performance based activities that you can integrate into all the other interests that define who you are and what you want to do in your life.

For Educators
This workbook has been designed and written for students in high school and university who may be interested in how performance works. The chapters cover broad topics drawn from the field of performance studies, an academic field developed out of theatre studies, anthropology, sociology and cultural studies in the 1980s and 1990s. Web of Performance covers key topics in performance studies: Performance as a form of Play, Ritual, Healing, Education, Power, Identity and Everyday Life. Each of these topics works like a web, inviting students to explore in multiple directions, across many threads.

Dr, Prendergast
Dr. Monica Prendergast, Professor of Drama/Theatre Education, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Victoria. Her research interests are varied and include drama-based curriculum and pedagogy, drama/theatre in community contexts, and arts-based qualitative research methods. Dr. Prendergast’s books include Applied Theatre and Applied Drama (both with Juliana Saxton), Teaching Spectatorship, Poetic Inquiry, Staging the Not-yet, Drama, Theatre and Performance Education in Canada and Poetic Inquiry II. Her CV includes over 50 peer reviewed journal contributions, numerous chapters, book reviews and professional contributions. Monica also reviews theatre for CBC Radio Canada and writes a column on theatre for Focus Magazine.

Dr. Will Weigler
Dr. Will Weigler is an award-winning theatre director, playwright and producer based in Victoria, British Columbia. He often works in collaboration with communities to co-create plays about the issues that matter to them. He received training in physical theatre, circus arts, and character mask at NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts; Dell ‘Arte International; Odin Teatret; and Jared Sakren, among others. Will is a graduate of both the National Theatre Institute in the US, and Oberlin College. He holds a PhD in Applied Theatre from the University of Victoria. Will is also the author of several books on theatre, including The Alchemy of Astonishment: Engaging the Power of Theatre (University of Victoria, 2016); Strategies for Playbuilding:Helping Groups Translate Issues into Theatre (Heinemann, 2001); From the Heart: How 100 Canadians Createdan Unconventional Theatre Performance aboutReconciliation (VIDEA, 2015); Laughing Allowed! —A How-to Guide for Making a Physical Comedy Show toBuild Neighbourhood Resilience [co-author] (Building Resilient Neighbourhoods, 2016); and, Web of Performance: An Ensemble Workbook [co-editor/co-author] (University of Victoria, 2018).

Web of Performance book launch (New Zealand)

Author Monica Prendergast speaks to a crowd at the launch of her book, Web of Performance.Last month, Monica Prendergast attended the International Drama in Education Research Institute at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and launched the recently released Web of Performance: An Ensemble Workbook.

The curriculum guide in performance studies, edited with Will Weigler, is intended for students ages 16-20. The workbook uses examples of theatrical performances to help show students and educators the ways in which theatre can make positive impacts on a community.

The project was funded by an SSHRC grant, with additional funding from the Office of Research Services.

“I’m so grateful to Inba Kehoe and her staff in the UVIC ePublishing program,” says Prendergast.

Web of Performance is available for download here: http://dspace.library.uvic.ca/handle/1828/9426.

Event: The Alchemy of Astonishment book launch (Vancouver)

For those on the mainland, don’t miss your chance to attend a book launch for Will Weigler’s recent release, “The Alchemy of Astonishment,” presented by Simon Fraser University’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017
7:00 to 9:00 PM

Djavad Mowafachian World Art Centre
Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 W. Hastings St.

This event is FREE to attend and requires no prior registration.

See our previous post to find out more about Will and his book.

The Alchemy of Astonishment by Will Weigler

Each year UVic faculty, staff, students, alumni, and retirees produce an incredible amount of intellectual content reflecting their breadth and diversity of research, teaching, personal, and professional interests. A list of these works is available here.

Combining theory with application, The Alchemy of Astonishment: Engaging the Power of Theatre by Will Weigler is a new book that anyone can use to powerfully express the stories they want to tell through theatre.

About the Book

When stage director Will Weigler analyzed nearly 100 stories from people about their most unforgettable experiences at the theatre, he realized that even though the plays were very different, they all had one thing in common. After discovering just what it was that made them so astonishing, he 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” is a useful resource for scholars, educators, students, theatregoers, and theatre artists of every kind. For those who facilitate devised theatre with communities, this book and its supplementary deck of teaching cards offer professional artists and the people with whom they work a shared language that will allow them to meet as equitable partners in the creative co-authorship and staging of dynamic and compelling plays.

The Alchemy of Astonishment is available for sale from the UVic Bookstore.

About the Author

Will Weigler has been an Applied Theatre director, teacher, and playwright for over twenty-five years. 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, and Laughing Allowed! – A How-to Guide for Making a Physical Comedy Show to Build Neighbourhood Resilience. Will completed his PhD in Applied Theatre here at the University of Victoria.

Praise for the Book

“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