FORCE OF CIRCUMSTANCE (FOC) is a new Theatre Company: Australia’s first professional, intentional, intergenerational theatre company.
It has been created to ensure that the wisdom of our theatrical tribe,
from all the generations, is nourished and transformed.
Each production embraces multiple generations of actors, creatives and
crew. As a senior artist, my greatest teachers are the younger creatives and actors with whom I work: we teach each other what it is to be fully alive with every cell firing. The younger artists keep the senior artists up to speed with popular culture and contemporary performance making and we like to share the traditions of theatre making and performance training to ensure that the rituals and processes that have been around for generations continue, updated and relevant.
“He Dreamed a Train” is the first production that FORCE OF CIRCUMSTANCE (FOC) has co-produced. In July 2015 we will be co-producing HOME, as part of the DIVA series at Queensland Theatre Company. We have a couple of creative developments in the mix for 2015-2016.
HOW DID “HE DREAMED A TRAIN” COME ABOUT?
This play, He Dreamed a Train (HDAT), began in 2012 as a LabRat. Ian
Lawson, Executive Director of PlayLab read a proposal and decided to
support it. We worked together for a few months and it was his
belief and encouragement that prompted an application for Work in
Residence at Metro Arts in 2013. HDAT, then called “Man in Quotation
Marks” had a wonderful year of incubation. Kieran Swann (Programming
Manager Metro Arts) and Liz Burcham (then CEO of Metro Arts) created
multiple opportunities for us to work with leading Australian theatre
makers/producers including Leisa Shelton, Carol Burns,
Ian Lawson, Andrea Moor, Steven Mitchell Wright, Dave Sleswick, David
Morton, Sandro Collarelli, Chris Beckey, Lucy-Anne Langlilde, Deborah
Leiser–Moore, Michael Coughlan and Leticia Caceres.
This was followed by a trip to Omaha Nebraska to present a reading of the
play at the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference. On return,
Kris Stewart and Brisbane Powerhouse offered us a place in the inaugural
SWEET program. Thank you BPH, and thank you Metro Arts for you continued
support. Both BPH and Metro Arts have funded this production of HDAT.
As writer, I depend a lot on the wisdom of the tribe: The idea for the play was directly inspired by my brother, David Brown, who wrote a novel by the same name. Writers such as Herman Hesse have been used as stimuli and some of his ideas have been collaged into the piece. I have also borrowed from my two previous works EVE: Part 1 (inspired by Eve Langley) and HOME Part 2 (inspired by Brisbane!) as well as Peter Turchi and his ideas on mental mapping.
Most of all, I have been inspired by my family: my brother David Brown and my second son Travis Ash who rewrote “The Myth of Er” and composed the soundscape. Thank you to my long time husband Bill Ash, for without you none of this could even happen: thank you for your executive producing skills and ongoing personal support.
I have also been truly inspired by Ben Knapton, who has worked tirelessly for the last 20 months in so many capacities (director/producer/dramaturg/designer) as we created a show that combines traditional storytelling with contemporary performance making.
THANK YOU SO MUCH…
Rosemary Walker, our FOC publicist, for creating wonderful opportunities to ‘get the word out’; Rose knows everyone in Brisbane! Gabrielle Castle, Rebecca (Bec) Ward and Aimee Dittmer for their continuous support: Bec for her beautiful photos (seen on BPH Website)and Gabby for her Assistant Stage Management; Leah Mercer (director of the first two award winning shows of the trilogy, Eve and HOME and long distance dramaturg on HDAT) for her constant belief in our work; Freddy Komp for his expertise as Extraordinary Production Manager and Stage Manager; Nathan Sibthorpe as delicious Image Whisperer; Jess Ross who executed Ben Knapton’s beautifully simple design; Aaron Barton who built the set (Aaron also built EVE’s set); and Linda Yamada for being there in Pullenvale. I also want to give a big thank you to all the partners of the FOC creatives: your generosity and understanding is duly noted! Finally all the generous artists who worked with us over the last 20 months: Leisa Shelton, Carol Burns, Andrea Moor, Steven Mitchell Wright, Dave Sleswick, David Morton, Sandro Collarelli, Chris Beckey, Lucy-Anne Langlilde, Leah Mercer, Ian Lawson, Kieran Swann, Deborah Leiser–Moore, Bev Jensen, Michael Coughlan and Leticia Caceres.