International Conference 
"Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity"
Theatre - Dance - Music - Visual & Multimedia Art - Arts Administration - Performing Arts Training - Theatre Design & Technology

December 16 - 20, 2016


Utilising Ritual and Archetype in Modern Theatre Practice

Interactive lecture and workshop by Ellie Chadwick - experimental theatre-maker, PhD researcher, teacher at the University of Warwick (UK).

Ellie Chadwick is a PhD researcher and teacher at the University of Warwick, and an experimental theatre-maker working freelance in London and elsewhere. Ellie teaches workshops on devising, classical drama, voice, and storytelling (for organisations including Warwick University, EducationFirst, Theatre Royal Stratford East, and Exeter University) and has created work for the National Trust, the Tristan Bates Theatre (Covent Garden), the Minack Theatre (Cornwall), the Albany Theatre (Deptford), Exeter Northcott and other venues. 

Ellie recently took part in the ArtsOasis International Performers Residency with Sergei Ostrenko in Italy, and have since been in Bali for a month researching traditional Balinese theatre practices, learning Legong dance, and interviewing artists about their work bringing together traditional forms with contemporary innovation (including the internationally renowned mask maker and performer Ida Bagus Anom Suryawan).

Ellie is currently a resident artist at Watershed Bristol’s Pervasive Media Studio and working with Theatre Delicatessen in London on an experimental immersive piece titled Ergo Sum.

The PhD research of Ellie Chadwick explores the notion that the emergent language of theatre, and more generally of modern culture, has links to much earlier forms of storytelling and an ancient worldview, and raises questions as to how theatre practitioners might best understand and utilise early modes of entertainment and ideologies in the creation of performance work today. It explores the emergence and history of theatrical performance in Britain, with particular focus on how early medieval ideologies and theatrical forms were absorbed into the practices of the first professional theatres in the early modern age, using Shakespeare’s work as a core example. Further, it uncovers and interrogates, through practice, links between performance practices today and the ritual roots of native theatrical tradition: links which we have largely lost in the UK but which still exist in certain other cultures. As a practitioner Ellie is interested in psychosomatic and embodied approaches, tension and interplay between residual and emergent ideas (tradition vs innovation), the relationship between body and mind, and the role of narrative in human cognition.   


The session will take the form of an interactive lecture and workshop: beginning with a short talk, followed by a participatory workshop session with practical activities and conversation. The session will raise the question of how we might usefully tap into the latent power of ritualistic, archetypal and symbolic patterns in a modern context. Peter Brook argues that ‘we have lost all sense of ritual and ceremony […] but the words remain with us and old impulses stir in the marrow’. This workshop will, by engaging with a sense of archetype and ritual through psychosomatic approaches, explore the possibility for rediscovering a sense of what Brook terms “Holy Theatre”: theatre which captures ‘the invisible currents that rule our lives’.  

Organized by IUGTE in collaboration with "ArtUniverse"