Let’s make this clear first of all. We’re not talking about performance poetry here. This is different. Performance poetry is written to be performed, much like a play, and so only has a secondary existence on the page. ReAuthored Performance is work that has a valid existence on the page first of all. It is the reinterpretation of ‘on-the-page’ work for a live context.
We call it ‘ReAuthoring’ because that’s what it involves: a writer remaking their written work for a different audience, one that will largely experience it as a public, audio-visual happening rather than as a private, text-centric event. It’s the same work, but it’s not. Not better, not worse. Just different in a way that’s right for the context and the audience.
This is our manifesto.
- The author is at the centre of ReAuthored performance, delivering their own work. They do not have to pretend to be an actor.
- ReAuthoring keeps the audience in mind. It seeks to entertain, inspire, bemuse and generate emotion.
- ReAuthoring is a valid offering to the audience in and of itself. You do not have to have read the book to ‘get it’; neither do you have to read the book afterwards. It stands alone.
- ReAuthoring enriches the text from which it emerges, but is independent to it. It seeks to offer something new for a live context.
- Re:uthored performance is collaborative. It emerges from a dialogue between a writer and their producer. It is ‘staged’, rehearsed, deliberate. It draws on the high production values of theatre and performance art.
- ReAuthored Performance is portable. It should be able to fit comfortably into a Lit Fest slot, a library or a small venue. It should not have high technical requirements.
- ReAuthored Performance is immersive and interactive. It opens up a conversation with the audience – even if that conversation goes no further than asking them to think in a different way.
- ReAuthored Performance is more than bolt-ons or mixed bills. It is not about cheap tricks to catch the audience’s wandering attention.
- ReAuthored Performance must be built on a bedrock of high-quality writing. It is not an excuse for a weak text.
- ReAuthored Performance is innovative and exploratory. It seeks new ways to engage new audiences, perhaps with new technologies. It acknowledges a new order in the world of writing, and revels in it.
The ongoing project now exists to further develop this devising process, and to work with a wider range of authors and community groups to create literary performance that is engrossing, democratic and enlightening, without losing sight of the essential nature of the book and the author.
ReAuthoring seeks to reinvigorate the reader’s encounter with the author, moving away from the traditional reading, towards something with more appeal to new audiences. We work within a wide range of media to achieve this.
ReAuthoring is led by Samantha Holdsworth and Greg Klerkx, who work with an ever-expanding universe of writer/artist collaborators.
Funders and Supporters: