Devising Theatre Online


10 - 19 October 

Session 1: Saturday 10 October at 3-5:30PM
Session 2: Monday 12 October at 7-9:30PM
Session 3: Saturday 17 October at 3-5:30PM

Technical rehearsal: 1 hour in the afternoon on Monday, 19 October

Theatre in the Pound performance: 7-9PM on Monday, 19 October

Cost: £85

Who could benefit from this course?

Theatre makers and/or screen actors who want to collaborate with other professional artists to explore online performance possibilities. The course involves exercises and improvisations to develop characters and stories; all participants will be expected to perform in the final piece.

How does it work?

Session 1

  • We will start by adapting common improvisation games and exercises for Zoom.
  • How to create a sense of ensemble in a group video call.
  • How to design performance for different viewing options (breakout & grid views).
  • How to watch back work and play within the online environment.
  • How to use breakout rooms to do simple devising exercises in small groups.

In pairs, participants will devise a performance around a common theme, which you will work on in the breakout rooms. We will then collectively decide on a theme or idea for the focus for session 2. You will be expected to collaborate with your scene partner on ideas before the second session.

Session 2
We will warm up with some ensemble games, and then return to breakout rooms to work on your scenes. Each pair will perform their scene for the group, and we will discuss how to link them into a more structured whole. The focus of the second session will be preparing for our performance at Theatre in the Pound, the Cockpit’s scratch night.

Session 3
We will work together as a group to construct the scenes into a 15 min performance with all the devised scenes linked and running as a live performance.

Tech rehearsal & performance
You will be expected to rehearse with your scene partner and finalise any design element (props, costume, filming location in your home) before the Theatre in the Pound tech rehearsal. During tech, we will run the whole piece from start to finish. The tech rehearsal will take place in the afternoon (exact time TBC), on the same day as the performance.

What do you gain?

  • Meet new collaborators and create an original performance on Zoom / online.
  • Learn devising and improvisation workshop exercises for Zoom / online.
  • Expand your network and share your work with a wider audience.
  • Keep the final performance video for your portfolio.


Steve North is an actor and filmmaker.
His film and television credits include: All Those Things, Unforgotten, Closed Circuit, Hallo Joe, South West Nine, War Horse NT Live, Mongrels, Doctor Who, EastEnders, Is Harry on the Boat, The Day Britain Stopped, Midsomer Murders, Casualty, The Bill, Murphy’s Law, Holby City, Woof, and four series of London’s Burning.
Stage credits include: RNT’s War Horse and NT Live, Offies Nominated Museum Pieces, Meeting Joe Strummer (Fringe First winner), The Football Factory, Fever Pitch solo show (nominated Best Actor MEN awards) and Shared Experience premiere of Mermaid.
Steve’s film making credits include co-writer and producer on the feature film South West 9. He was also Associate Producer on The Football Factory. He directed the award-winning short film Cregan for Screen South under the Digital Shorts Scheme and screened at film festivals in the UK and around the world including Foyle, Waterford, Leeds, Soho Rushes, New York . Other directing credits include the short film Greensleeves and film sequences for an original commission of 13 for the Brighton International Festival.
Steve is an experienced and skilled workshop leader who specialises in screen acting and devising for theatre. Until recently he was Head of Acting at Laine Theatre Arts and is currently the Year Course Director for London based screen acting company The Reel Scene. He is on the team that runs the Theatre Maker Courses at The Cockpit Theatre where he also leads devising workshops and screen acting classes.


"Brilliantly pioneering. Devising and performing online were far more satisfying than I expected. Online video is a new medium rich with possibilities that I'm keen to explore further."
Antony Quinn

“Steve created a fun and relaxed environment to get our creative juices flowing. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in building their acting skills in front of the camera.”
Sandra Hamalwa

"Steve's course totally exceeded expectations. What we came up with in two days was amazing. We devised something far more interesting than anything I would have created on my own."
Laura Whyte