Dynamic Collisions: Directorial Montage in the Devised Work of Anne Bogart

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Date of Award

Summer 2014


From its inception, early film assumed a predominantly theatrical form. However, as film progressed, both film and theatre practitioners began working to distinguish the two mediums. Yet, the relationship between film and theatre persists as cinematic techniques currently also influence the theatrical stage. Though often differentiated as two distinctly separate mediums in scholarship, it proves important to consider the ongoing dialogue that occurs between the forms.This thesis explores the relationship of theatre and film via a specific investigation of how directorial montage manifests in contemporary devised theatre. Relying on data gleaned from a case study offering a specific set of findings, this thesis examines the devising processes of famed contemporary theatre director Anne Bogart and analyzes the resulting directorial montage in a 2014 presentation of the devised production, A Rite. Through the critical framework of montage theory, as articulated by filmmaker and theorist Sergei Eisenstein, who is most often associated with directorial montage, the analysis highlights and interrogates the presence of metric, rhythmic, tonal, overtonal, intellectual, and vertical montage in A Rite.ivWhile during his lifetime Eisenstein did not believe theatre capable of fully realizing his standards of montage, the major implications of the current study suggest that devised theatre can effectively offer all of Eisenstein's concepts of montage which manifest in a number of dynamic ways. The collected data indicates that theatrical productions can offer multiple montage phases simultaneously. As well, repetition of actions in a production can serve as an overarching form of montage for the whole of the live performance. Elements of montage in a devised production can also be significantly enhanced through the physical exactitude and abilities of the performers via rigorous physical training practices. As evidenced in A Rite, these practices allow devised theatre to ultimately achieve intellectual montage, which Eisenstein considered the highest form of montage. The intellectual montage offers audiences further insight into the often complex and multi-layered meanings of devised performances. With these conclusions regarding directorial montage, this study provides a linkage between theatre and film, thereby broadening and enhancing the understanding of the current relationship between the two mediums.


Carrie Klypchak

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Theatre and Performance Studies