Headphone Verbatim Workshop with Roslyn Oades


About the Workshop

Theatre maker Roslyn Oades utilises an innovative verbatim technique she refers to as headphone verbatim or audio-scripting. Headphone verbatim is a paperless form of theatre that features the faithful reproduction of speech patterns. In performance her actors wear headphones via which they are fed a carefully edited audio-script constructed entirely from documentary interview recordings.

Headphone-verbatim offers performers a fascinating opportunity to explore characters outside of their experience. Actors literally adopt the actual words, breaths and speech mannerism of another human being with the aim of preserving the vocal print of a recorded interview.

In this practical workshop, Roslyn will offer participants the opportunity to experience performing a pre-prepared audio-script, as well as, to discuss and experiment with the possibilities of this exciting form on the floor.

This workshop is not only ideal for actors to learn an innovative technique, but also for writers and makers to consider the possibilities of working from audio.

Light lunch provided. Bring your own headphones!

Friday 6 September
11am – 2pm
North Melbourne Town Hall
Tickets $25

Limited spaces, booking essential
Book now or call (03) 9322 3713

About Headphone Verbatim

Since 2001 Roslyn has been creating performances derived directly from carefully constructed audio recordings. Through the disciplined recreation of these ‘audio-scripts’ in performance, her work aims to recontextualise rarely heard or misrepresented Australian voices. The work magnifies candid, personal stories from within a specific community as a means of exploring broader political and social tensions. As a theatre maker, she operates from the principle there is as much information embedded in the way someone speaks, as what they are saying.

Roslyn’s creative process includes an extensive collection phase, during which she draws material from a variety of audio sources including interview, media and found recordings. In performance, she employs a headphone-verbatim technique that requires actors to wear headphones, via which they are fed an audio-script. The actors recite this audio-script with absolute precision (like a musician following a score), recreating the exact speech patterns of original interviewees. The result is a hyper-natural form of documentary theatre that evokes the essence of the audio source with fidelity – even if the performer is of a conflicting gender, age or racial background to the original speaker. Visual appearance is rendered unreliable and the audience’s focus shifts into a heightened state of listening.

“resolutely truthful and non-actorly work, with a beautifully accurate rendering of the cadences, timing and slippages of real speech as opposed to the well-crafted phoniness of actors reciting lines” – The Sydney Morning Herald

About Roslyn Oades

Roslyn Oades is a theatre maker, performer and voice artist. Her production I’m Your Man (2012, 2013) is currently touring around the country, and will be performed at Arts House from 4-8 September. Following on from Fast Cars & Tractor Engines (2005) and Stories of Love & Hate (2008, 2011), I’m Your Man was the final part in a trilogy of headphone-verbatim plays on Acts of Courage.

More information about Roslyn Oades

Verbatim-workshop-Arts-House-I'm Your Man
About the Show – I’m Your Man

Theatre-maker Roslyn Oades followed a determined young boxer from Bankstown for 18 months as he prepared for a world-title fight. Along the way, she and her trusty tape recorder encountered past legends, up-and-comers and failed contenders with unique insights into the fight game. Using headphone verbatim the result is vivid, hyper-natural documentary theatre, and a compelling tale of courage and its cost.

Wed 4 – Sun 8 September
North Melbourne Town Hall

Tickets $20 – $30

More information about I’m Your Man.


About Arts House

Arts House presents contemporary arts in programs encompassing performance, exhibitions, live art, residencies and other activities that nurture, support and stimulate cultural engagement. For more information, please visit artshouse.com.au.
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