Offering a roadmap for practicing verbatim theatre (plays created from oral histories), this book outlines theatre processes through the lens of oral history and draws upon oral history scholarship to bring best practices from that discipline to theatre practitioners.

This book opens with an overview of oral history and verbatim theatre, considering the ways in which existing oral history debates can inform verbatim theatre processes and highlights necessary ethical considerations within each field, which are especially prevalent when working with narrators from marginalised communities. It provides a step-by-step guide to creating plays from interviews and contains practical guidance for determining the scope of a theatre project: identifying narrators and conducting interviews, developing a script from excerpts of interview transcripts and outlining a variety of ways to create verbatim theatre productions. By bringing together this explicit discussion of oral history in relationship to theatre based on personal testimonies, the reader gains insight into each field and the close relationship between the two. 

Supported by international case studies that cover a wide range of working methods and productions, including The Laramie Project and Parramatta Girls, this is the perfect guide for oral historians producing dramatic representations of the material they have sourced through interviews, and for writers creating professional theatre productions, community projects or student plays.

Introduction  Part 1: Overview  1. What is Verbatim Theatre?  2. Oral History and Verbatim Theatre: Similar but Different  3. Discussions within Oral History that Inform Verbatim Theatre Processes  Part 2: Ethics and Verbatim Theatre  4. Ethical Considerations and Guidelines for Verbatim Theatre Processes  5. Ethical Considerations in the Creation of Plays from Interviews with Members of Marginalised Communities and Vulnerable Narrators  Part 3: Creating a Play from Interviews: Step by Step  6. Getting Started  7. The Interview  8. After the Interview: Transcribing and Preparing for the Scripting Process  9. Sculpting your Play: From Transcript to Playscript  10. Scripting Options and Techniques  11. Beyond the Script  12. Rehearsal and Experience  13. Over to You, Now!  Part 4: Examples of Work by Verbatim Theatre Playwrights and Companies  14. Examples of Plays Created from Interviews  Checklist for Producing your Verbatim Play  Appendices  Appendix 1: Approaching your Narrator – Examples  Appendix 2: Sample Consent Form for an Audio Recorded Interview  Appendix 3: Scripting Exercise  Appendix 4: Projected Production Expenditure  Appendix 5: Glossary  Appendix 6: Suggested Sources for Further Information on Verbatim Theatre, Documentary Theatre, and Oral History