Dilek Rose: 5 tips for ensemble work
Dilek Rose, 31, trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School on its three-year degree course when she was in her early 20s. She is appearing in Theatre Centre’s Twist, an ensemble piece for five actors by Chino Odimba, which is touring schools and venues until 24 November.
1. Accept that open-mindedness is essential
Be open to – and supportive of – ideas and suggestions that come from your colleagues. Ensemble work always develops collaboratively. That’s why on Twist, for instance, we worked hard with the director on working out our motives and shared goals for the project as well as playing lots of bonding games.
2. Be prepared to compromise
You will not always agree with your fellow actors so you have to be flexible. There is room for many different points of view in ensemble work and you need to be willing and able to accommodate other people’s opinions.
3. Deal with problems as they arise
If there is a problem between you and anyone else in the cast, communicate it directly. Confront whatever it is so that it is resolved. Leaving things to fester can be very damaging. Sorting problems out helps with strength of character and reinforces the group dynamic.
4. Spend some time together outside the show
The other actors will probably be strangers to you when you first meet. Try to undertake some leisure activities together such as meals, games and walks. Getting to know each other properly helps with bonding and makes for a healthier working environment.
5. Look out for each other
You need to be acutely aware of each others’ needs. If, for example, one actor on one particular day is very tired then it’s everyone’s responsibility to support him or her. There might be a missed line or some other irregularity and you need to be ready to step in and help if necessary.