Moving Stories - Workshops and Performance

Museum Theatre

There are many different styles of theatre, including comedy, tragedy, pantomime, musicals, physical theatre, street theatre and many more. Museum theatre is simply another style of performance that shares many similarities with street theatre, where actors often perform in a public space without a stage and attract an audience from passers by. Major costume changes are often replaced by small alterations to represent different characters.


However, museum theatre is also very unique, aiming to creatively interpret the museumsí collections, exploring some of the stories behind inanimate objects and archives and bringing them to life through performance. Although the traditional stage is not often present, museums offer the most realistic and life-size sets, such as a 1930s street scene (Streetlife Museum) or locomotives and railway bridges (National Railway Museum), encouraging visitors to not just look at the collections but really engage with them.


To introduce students to the idea of using museums to creatively inspire theatre each group watched a performance by Chris Cade and David Mosley in their local museum. The performances introduced the concepts of live interpretation as well as conveying some useful railway history, with the aim of inspiring students in their own creative writing.


Students were encouraged to watch the performances critically to select elements and techniques that they would like to explore in their own pieces of theatre. Later workshops then explored the process of developing performances from archive material and artefacts.


If you would like more information about museum performances, please follow the 'Performances at the National Railway Museum' link at the bottom of this page.

Document icon Learning article provided by: National Railway Museum | 
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