“CTP3 (Collaborative Theater Project, 3rd Year) is IATI Theater’s testament to the creation of theater of the most avant-garde natures; by putting the creation process on its head and decimating the usual hierarchy in which most plays are created, CTP3 creates a play that IS crafted from the inside out.
In CTP3, the actors, the director, assistant director and playwright all came into the rehearsal room–or in this case, the creation room–with only fragments and ideas of what the play would constitute. Through structured improvisations, scene rewrites and the usual cacophony of theatrical shenanigans that only independent theater makers can dream up, a play is conceived. This is devised theater on steroids.
The key phrase here is: “crafting theater from the inside out.” Being one of the first projects I was deeply involved in after moving from Miami to New York, working on CTP3 required a sort of re-learning of the creation process of a play. Conventional theater training teaches us to use the world the playwright evokes on paper as the foundations from which the piece takes its life. In a CTP, however, there is no specific starting point or leading artist. This does not mean that the playwright’s or the director’s work is undermined–it means that it is enriched. Every element in the play exists to serve the purpose of the actor, as much as the purpose of the director, as much as the purpose of the playwright. Since fundamental elements in the play are born while the collective is together in the rehearsal studio, the result is an organic composition, not of things that a single theater artist wants to happen but of things that a group of theater artists decided–communally–need to happen.
Thus, the play’s characterizations, dramatic arch and directorial interpretation–three elements that would have been created independently by the actors, playwright and director respectively–all evolve from a group process that serves the play as a whole: things grow from the inside out.
A perfect example of the organic creation that CTP yields is the settings that CTP3 utilizes to tell its story. In a pseudo-absurdist and metaphysical understanding of time, the play takes the audience through three different times and spaces.
To tell the story of Vittorio, a sad clown that was raised among circus tents, the audience travels to pre-World War II Italy.
To tell the story of Dalila, a once promising singer, we go to the taverns of 1970’s Argentina.
Where Dalila and Vittorio meet is a train station that no train seems to pass by, mocking the characters perception of time; meanwhile, the ominous Al, warren of the train station, constructs a brick wall and walks the clock of life.
What unites the characters in the play are a gentle lullaby, a lily flower and the dark unveiling of their past and macabre future. It SOUNDS a bit complex, yes, but when you see it on stage and thanks to the fact that all these elements were born from the inside out, it makes perfect theatrical sense.”