W is a research collective that studies action in a performance setting. What does it mean to act as others watch? What characterizes the relation we call theater?

To answer these questions, W simultaneously develops three complementary approaches: a practice, which builds tools and techniques for the actor; a critical method, which suggests reception guidelines for the spectator; and a theory, which works towards defining notions useful to the first two approaches.

In particular, W produces games, a score writing software, a lexicon of operational notions, workshops and practical sessions, critical seminars, as well as articles and conferences.

The W-theory strives to formulate the relations between the notions defined by the W-practice and by the W-critique. It thus makes it a theory of the theatrical relation.

The W-practice and the W-critique both present themselves as enterprises in naming : it puts into names phenomena or aspects of the action in a performance setting. In both cases, these definitions are purely nominal, i.e. they have no ambition of truth or correctness in relation to everyday language. The selected terms simply serve to designate the same thing each time they are used by people who have previously agreed on their meaning.

The W-theory will therefore try to define and organize all the terms used, in such a way that they keep an operational coherence in relation to each other.

The W theory consists of the whole of these logically articulated relationships. In this, it is not descriptive. It doesn't work by suggesting truths, but by definitions and cross-references. It is pragmatic : its only truth is to be functional.

W-theory is developed in conjunction with practical and critical research, more specifically during research sessions. It is still in process.