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, a score writing software, a lexicon of operational notions, workshops and practical sessions, critical seminars, as well as articles and conferences.
The W-practice attempts to build and experiment with tools for the performed action, that is, all situations where one acts in front of someone.
The first tool, the W-lexicon, is an operative lexicon that proposes to name the different aspects of a performed action.
The second tool, the W-notation, is a system for writing and articulating the action in the form of scores using the Organon software.
The third tool, the W-method, consists of an assortment of techniques for performing.
These tools are developed and passed on during research sessions bringing together performers of all kinds. They are also practiced in the form of games iin which the activity of the actor, playwright or author is formalized to become a specific object of work.
The W-sessions are research sessions devoted to the W-practice. They are run by Joris Lacoste and Jeanne Revel and bring together actors, dancers, performers, students and researchers.
W research is centered around three inseparable parts : the practice , the critique, and the theory. It shifts constantly between these dimensions, in order to alternately theorize practice, theoretically practice critique, or practically criticize theory.
W-sessions explore these three dimensions while resolutely emphasizing the first, namely the point of view of the action and the actor. They rely on different practical tools (the W-games, the W-lexicon, the W-notation, and the W-method) as developed during previous research sessions and attempt to question, perfect and add to them. This happens essentially through developing and experimenting with a certain number of games (W-games). Those games formalize the questions of the improvisation and interpretation, the notation of the action and the effectuation of scores.