As the new Company in Residence at Metro Arts, FOC/4change has now settled in and we are excited about our open studio next Friday night (1.5.15) when the whole building opens up to the public.
FOC/4 will be hosting a Provocation: “What is it that artist’s need to stay healthy?” We will have some green tea, pastels and paper, conversation, music and laughter. If you are around, pop in from 5.30pm this coming Friday.
This week has been a full one with many shows opening in Brisbane. One play that I saw last Tuesday was the newly written SAMPSON a poignant piece written by Julia-Rose Lewis. I have known Juia-Rose since she was a young student at QUT and it was with enormous enthusiasm that I went along to see her show. I was not disappointed with her script: it had a rhythm that held me, thoughts that challenged me and moments of wonderful clarity.
What was difficult was the fact that I could not hear the actors for some of the time, a problem that has always haunted the actor at La Boite due to its corporate architecture and the fact that it is theatre in the round, which requires enormous skill.
I write this post to all the new directors coming through: what a glorious theatre La Boite is- the whole package- the friendly staff, the strong works, the outside bar, all adding to the evening’s experience. But there are obstacles that need to be navigated around.
Having trained in Theatre in the Round for 8 years while I was studying my Literature and Education degree in the early 70’s in Sydney, I am well aware that the ways of being on a stage with four sides is a skill in itself. The nuances of moving the body so that all four sides of the audience feel included, the tilt of the head, the ability to embody the moment and at the same time share the moment, these are skills that need to be learned. One way of making sure that actors can be heard is for the director to sit on all sides of the set throughout rehearsal: this makes for a challenge in the rehearsal room because often it is smaller than the theatre space. However it is a crucial step. I have often witnessed directors sitting in the same seat when they are directing and therefore missing the nuances required to engage the other seating banks.
Thank you Julia-Rose for your words, your painstaking years of work on a wonderful text. An important story to be heard again and again, and I for one will direct this piece one day because it speaks to the youth of the day and in so doing speaks to all the generations.
Congratulations La Boite for putting it on. New directors, inhabit all sides of the rehearsal room. That will ensure that you respect all your audience, not just the front seating bank.