IN THE ABSOLUTE THICK OF IT WITH REHEARSALS FOR OUR NEW SHOW. And the last two weeks have been a really interesting time CREATIVELY.
We have been lucky enough to show Homebird in two manifestations so far – at PBN and THEATRE MACHINE. We had started with a sparse idea, which became 20 mins and then 40 mins. And in order for it to become a bigger piece that could sustain two weeks in a theatre – there were certain challenges we needed to face.
So Willie White, of Project Arts Centre, put us in touch with dramaturg Jocelyn Clarke.* He has worked with SITI company and Blue Raincoat among others. Needless to say, we’d heard of him. So it was very exciting to bring him in on the process.
There are common misconceptions about dramaturgs – that they exist merely to tell you what you can and cannot do, that they are script editors, that they will edit out all the fun stuff.
Not the case at all! JC helped us to see the gap between what we were saying we wanted to do and what we had been doing. He helped us to realise all of our assumptions, all the things we thought were implicit, and to bring them out. He showed us that there is a difference between poetic ambiguity and making the audience wish they had a translator. Moreover, he helped us isolate what was really working – and Shaun’s writing is so strong, there is a lot that is REALLY working – and how to do more of that, and less of the rest.
Furthermore, he helped us with structure. He reminded us of the things we knew all along and how to apply more conventional rules of playmaking to the freer process of performance-making.
What we’ve come out with, is a text that is much deeper and wider in scope of what it does. It is angrier than its previous incarnations but its also more understanding…
What to know exactly what I mean by that – check back for the exact listings for our run in Project in April.
We’re getting ready to SHOUT about it.
* There are many definitions of a dramaturg but here’s a few that describe what it is that Jocelyn does –
is a position within a theatre that deals mainly with research and development. It has gained its modern-day function through the innovations of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, a playwright and theatre practitioner who worked in Germany in the 18th century.
Dramaturgy is the art of dramatic composition and the representation of the main elements of drama on the stage. Some dramatists combine writing and dramaturgy when creating a drama. Others work with a specialist, called a dramaturg, to adapt a work for the stage.
Works as an advisor / assistant to the director on the background and historical relevance of a play, and as a liaison between director and playwright. Also may assist in editing & revising scripts, and advising a theatre on the suitability of plays for the theatre’s audience and artistic policy.