Canadian Q & A: Getting Fluid with CRP

I’m back at my Dance Exchange desk after back-to-back one-day intensives on the Critical Response Process in Toronto and Montreal, sponsored by Professional Association of Canadian Theatres. At each, Cassie and I invited questions. I’ll use our responses as the substance of a short series of FAQ-style blogs about using CRP in theatrical settings, starting with the following:

How do you make the Process more fluid? Is it possible to do CRP one-on-one, without a bigger group or facilitator?

We always emphasize that the four step process, as we teach it in workshops, is the formal version. Doing the formal four steps is the best way to learn CRP, and returning to them is always fruitful for important junctures and public encounters with works-in-progress. But there are plenty of ways that values of CRP can be adapted for one-to-one dialogues and collaborative conversations. The two-person version can follow the general outlines of the formal process, with the person giving feedback leading the way through the usual sequence: “A few things that stood out for me were…” (step one); “Did you have any questions at this point? (an invitation to some step two dialogue); “I have a couple of questions myself…” (neutral ones, of course, to constitute step three); “I do have some opinions. The first one is about X. Would you like to hear it?”(step four). This can be an effective conversation even if your dialogue partner doesn’t realize you are using the Process. With knowledge of the principles of CRP, you can start employing its prompts and values outside the sequence: both step ones statements of meaning and step three neutral questions on their own are great conversation-starters. And if everyone in an ensemble is familiar with the essentials of CRP, it’s fairly easy become fluid, skip steps, and alter the sequence of the process.

Next time: Strong Opinions

About John Borstel

John’s role with the Dance Exchange encompasses functions in documentation, dissemination, and dialogue.