What is Emergent Theatre?
Emergent Theatre™ is a process- and practice-based approach to performance and dialogue that Janneke NEX Agustin intuitively developed in 2010 and continue to evolve, as a tool for self and group discovery, healing and empowerment.
It emerged in 2010, out of inspiration (triggered by frustration) and a need for safe, non-judgmental spaces to rediscover what it means to be human — ever present, ever-connected, ever-changing as an individual in community with all beings.
Its core practice is mindfulness but integrates other practices and perspectives from multiple disciplines and philosophies (i.e. indigenous culture, spiritual science, social technologies, spiritual psychology, new age, buddhism, theory U, human design). It is for individual and collective purpose; beneficial for both.
It can be viewed as a form of individual and group processing through the performing arts. This modality strengthens the capacity for clear thinking, engaging the body and voice, and opens the heart by releasing pent-up emotions and tensions; encouraging individuals to step into the world with more confidence and courage.
The core value of this theatre form is the deep interest in oneself and the other. The theatre space becomes a space for dialogue, between self and other, and the visible and invisible. The space is anywhere and everywhere, the stage is any space we put our attention and intention to and where we behold the self or the other. The emergent performance is one that arises or emerges in the given moment, meditative and responsive at the same time, yet devoid of agenda or preconceived plans and scripts. The act of performing and watching calls for keen observation and active listening.
All participants, whether facilitator, performer or audience, are called to perceive the invisible qualities of the performance, where truth and deeper meaning often reside, and then convey this to others in dialogue. In this process, we transform the stage into a sacred space and the performance becomes a sacred practice.
Through ET exercises, participants observe, contemplate, introspect or investigate their individual and collective perceptions. As they do so, insights may arise that show opportunities to think, feel or act differently. Here, facilitation is critical. The exercises can go as deep and wide as possible and knowing the questions to ask, when to ask and when to stop, learning to step back and when to lean in is key.
ET exercises have been explored and incorporated in various local and international workshops with IP communities, LGBTQ+, children and youth, women, humanitarian workers, and performers and non-performers alike.
For updates, visit: Emergent Theatre PH
Note: Participation to ET performances is by invitation only, ensuring safety and authentic connections as foundation for creating and sustaining the community. For inquiries regarding performances, workshops or training, please send us a message through this website.
[Photos by Paullus Vicar Enaje]