W is a research collective that studies action in a performance setting. What does it mean to act as others watch? What characterizes the relation we call theater?

To answer these questions, W simultaneously develops three complementary approaches: a practice, which builds tools and techniques for the actor; a critical method, which suggests reception guidelines for the spectator; and a theory, which works towards defining notions useful to the first two approaches.

In particular, W produces games, score writing software, a lexicon of operational notions, workshops and practical sessions, critical seminars, as well as articles, conferences.

Générique is a game that ressembles an after-show Q&A. Spectators and performers meet to talk about a show and discuss its whys and hows as though it had just taken place. In doing so, they create it together; by inventing possible questions and imagining appropriate responses that form a coherent whole. A spoof on the codes and rhetorical devices of artistic discourse, Générique sets the groundwork for an imaginary event that everyone is free to embellish on off-the-cuff.

RULES OF PLAY

  1. Générique collectively constructs an imaginary performance that might have taken place.

  2. The players are divided into performers (from 3 to 6) and spectators.


  3. The game begins when one of the performers greets and thanks the audience during a brief introduction that goes something like: "Good evening, thank you for staying for the discussion. We're very curious to get your impressions of the piece you just saw. If you have any remarks, observations, or even critiques to share, please do. They'll help us do a better job next time. Are there any questions?

  4. Spectators take turns asking performers questions.

  5. Performers take turns answering spectators' questions and inventing reasons for the elements the spectators attribute to the show. These answers preserve the internal coherence of the imaginary show. Roles (choreographer, actress, lighting designer) can be given out during the game.

  6. Performers and spectators alike take pains not to contradict the imaginary show that is being created.

  7. Variations:
    a) The last-minute shower: one of the performers can arrive 10 minutes into the round and hit the ground running.
    b) The demonstration: excerpts can be improvised as examples.
    c) The moderator: one of the performers can act as debate moderator.

  8. A round lasts between 30 minutes and an hour and a half. The game ends when all the perfomers thank the audience for participating.