This gallery contains 8 photos.
Sorry for the gap in blogs. It’s been incredibly busy!
We had our first run through this week and invited some helpful friends (Lynne Clark and Hana Mackechnie) to watch. We had some really great feedback and everyone seemed to agree that the play made sense. Excellent news!
Production week looms and we are upping our rehearsal time which is really exciting. We also have some publicity out there. Check out the poster!
The production team are hard at work and it is great to have so many talented emerging professionals on board. Go team!
It’s now less than one week to go until our first event kicks off and the ‘I AM WOMAN’ art exhibition opens. We had a phenomenal amount of submissions and the exhibition team were working well into the night to select the final pieces. It’s encouraging to see so many artists are making work around similar themes but phew that was some tough art selecting. I can’t wait till the preview evening on March 2nd, 7pm. There will be live entertainment (stand by for details) and some more of that tasty Idun’s Cider on hand, mmmmm.
More from me soon
Magic and Cliches
This week we have finished putting the building blocks of the play together. All characters, scenes and moments are set and we pretty much know where we are. Phew! It’s been a roller coaster week as we deal with both the beauties and challenges of devising theatre. Here are some lists outlining the good and the bad of the devised theatre making process.
1. Sometimes magic happens– ACTUAL magic. Struggling to create a scene earlier this week I suggested we solve a cheesy moment by having the character read a poem her granddaughter wrote. Whilst rehearsing the beginning of the scene Belle wrote said poem and then Suzanne read it in the next improvisation. It was the first time any of us had heard it and it was perfect. Both characters were able to respond instinctively, the scene was solved and there was magic in the room!
2. People don’t talk like they are reading– Personally I’m sick of hearing the written word onstage. I would much rather hear thoughts and feelings please. We are attempting to make this play with a full script and set lines but without the actors ever seeing their lines written down (see challenges).
3. Personal stories– We created a scene this week called ‘The women who danced on the bombs’. It comes from a real life story told by Suzanne that is quite special. Using this and many more stories that we have shared during this process has helped ground the play in something we find true and also kept our passion for the project burning. We have been able to incorporate some of the comments and stories we have heard through the blog and the public workshop we held too. Devising is keeping it real folks!
1. Cliches– When improvising we can stray towards cliches as these are the first thing that pops into our head. They make us feel safe and satisfied and sometimes they are useful. We’re going to be inviting some helpful theatre friends in as the cliche police to call us out on these in the coming weeks.
2. Actors hate not being able to see their lines written down– because they are scared they will forget them. It also puts me in a funny power position where I can see them and they can’t and sometimes they feel they are being corrected. We haven’t figured out the best way to get around this yet. At the moment the actors are writing down key words to get the order of the scene but no actual lines. Anyone been through a process like this before that can offer advice?
3. Killing babies– not actual babies, idea babies. We have too many ideas and we can’t get them all into the play. We have to let go of some of our ideas and we have to help each other to do that. It’s a baby killing support network. BKSN. We’re getting quite good at it and are considering opening ourselves up for hire after the show is finished.
Thank you again to everyone who has contributed to the blog this week! Look out for some more questions coming your way.
Things we have discovered this week in rehearsals:
- The Arts Complex where we are rehearsing is magical! If you wish for something to make your set out of, a man will appear with a trolley full of it.
- The company require at least one box of chocolate gingers every two days.
- Creating a fictional egalitarian society that an audience can really buy into and believe in is hard! It still feels like mumbo jumbo- stupid patriarchy getting right into our brains.
- The amount of tea drunk is exactly related to the amount of comfort breaks needed.
- Our play is funny! My tummy muscles were actually hurting after Tuesdays rehearsal.
- People are super generous- we made our sponsorship target on Sponsume- thank you lovely people!
- Gillian Smith is an excellent and ambitious set designer- great to have her on board.
- When Christianity took over in Scotland, people started hiding goddesses in songs, stories, embroidery and most famously Christian Saints!
- The Triple Goddess probably didn’t exist in this part of the world- bother. But there are enough clues hidden in the folklore to suggest that people probably believed in something very similar- phew.
- Patricia Monaghan is really cool and will share an abundance of useful information in exchange for nettle tea- thanks for visiting us Patricia.
- Stuart McHardy is also really cool and shares our love of chocolate gingers. His knowledge of Scottish goddesses is brilliant and he even helped us find a name for The Mother.
- When rehearsals are going well- eight hours feels like five minutes!
Thanks to everyone who has helped contribute to the blog so far. We would really like to hear your views on themes in the play. Why is it so hard to imagine a society before patriarchy? How do you feel about what it means to be a woman today? If there is a new feminist wave coming, what shape will it take?
Have a great week
We’ve been lucky enough to be visited by some goddess experts and scholars in the last few weeks of rehearsals. We’ve had really inspiring conversations with Patricia Monaghan and Stuart MacHardy but are devastated to discover that the Triple Goddess-Maiden, Mother and Crone, is thought to be a patriarchal invention in Scotland! Humph… never mind, there are enough links to Scottish folklore, mythology and spirituality for us to explore these three figures with some historical accuracy. We have really deepened our understanding of the topic and have lots of symbols and connections to sneak into the show. Thank goodness they were so willing to answer all our many questions.
Find out more about these two special visitors: