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Devised Theatre

Creating our story together.

What is devised theatre?

Devised theatre is a method of theatre-making in which the director, performers, and creative team work together to create a play during the rehearsal process. While this may seem daunting, devising is an empowering practice because it is a truly collaborative effort. Everyone’s input is valued, regardless of their prior experience with devising or with theatre.

There are many ways to create devised theatre. Rehearsal activities often include improvisation, creative writing, research, movement composition, dance, and games. We welcome you to come create with us!

Most Recent Production

Upcoming Performances & Auditions

More productions to come. Check back soon!

Meet Our Program Director Lily Tanner

Lily Tanner is a theatremaker in Sacramento. Her plays feature fantastical themes and strange situations but her goal is to illuminate the amazing qualities of everyday life. She believes that every person’s story is significant. Lily’s hope is that audience members recognize aspects of their lives in the worlds she creates, then realize that they are just as worthy of attention, empathy, love, and understanding as the characters in the show they just watched.

Lily began working with EAC in 2019, when she directed that year’s production of Once More, With Feeling. Also in 2019, Lily directed Tiny Lives, the first devised play that EAC produced. Lily was then invited to create the Devised Theatre program at EAC based on the strength of that production and now considers Empire Arts Collective to be her artistic home.

Lily Tanner


Interim Executive Director, Board President, Theatre Program Director

Lily holds BAs in American Studies and Theatre & Dance from UC Davis. Upon her graduation in 2016, Lily was awarded honors in American Studies and presented with the Undergraduate Citation for Outstanding Performance and Theatre & Dance Foundation Award from the Theatre & Dance department. Lily has also studied at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and the Michael Chekhov Acting Studio.

What People Are Saying

Devised theatre is about the collaborative process of exploring and creating with a group of like-minded peers and ending up with a wonderful piece of art.

Katie Ahnberg Strength, As Above, So Below

Devised theatre has been an incredibly novel experience. I feel uniquely involved with the creative process compared to typical theatre, especially as we are able to bring the entire project together in the end.

David Kaldor The Hanged Man, As Above, So Below

Devised theatre is a fun exploration of storytelling. It gives theatre a whole new meaning when you are working with your friends to tell an impactful story that we all worked so hard to create.

Siena Halsey The Sun, As Above, So Below

[Devising] is like being on both sides of the production, from performing to collectively creating the show.

Alysa Pakkidis The Star, As Above, So Below

Devised theatre is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. Learning, skills development, and co-creation start on day one and are continuous throughout the entire process.

Sara Sturtevant The Devil, As Above, So Below
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