Tag Archives: Theatre in Brisbane

Travis has created magic once again

Travis has created magic once again

Our first week at QTC is over: five days of work in the Studio next to the Bille Brown Studio. It is going to be officially named on opening night! Its a great space…good for intimate performance, which HOME is…our first week has finished with a lot of new changes, the set is coming together and the joy in the rehearsal room is palpable. Sometimes I pinch myself “I am in love with this moment’, a line from the play but also a line that I would use to describe my work right now.

We begin our rehearsals with a check in: we score ourselves, between 1 and 10…how are we and what are we wanting to get out of this rehearsal. This is a way of working that i have devised over the years, and i call it Relational Impulse Training (you can find a link to my research on this website). We take time to check in, to find out what we are wanting and where we are wanting to go. After check in we warm up stretching, vocal exercises (I love Flloyd Kennedy’s ap: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/being-in-voice/id638033585?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4. , demonstrating simple exercises that warms the voice beautifully. Flloyd has a company called Being In Voice http://being-in-voice.com. and if you want to learn more about voice, contact her.

Travis warms up

Travis warms up

After a good warm up we do a speed run. This is a great way of pointing out where our pitfalls are. This is followed by scene work focusing on what needs fixing –we are trying to incorporate more spec-actors (audience participants, thats you!). Travis accompanies my monologues with the piano, and his monologues with a soundscape.

We have a piano this production The Piano figures big in HOME

We use paper people in rehearsal: they represent the real people I will be talking with when the show opens. Here is a picture of Leah, who is directing, surrounded by our paper friends. We end up with so many actors on stage: so joyful. Everyone seems to love being part of the stories unfolding.

IMG_9362Leah sits with the paper dolls

We all lunch in the greenroom. The whole company and all the other productions happening in the building, gather in the greenroom throughout the day so it is a great time to say hello, catch up on the news and hear the latest gossip. I was told my my husband Bill that research has recently published that gossip is good for you! Music to our ears! So lets continue!

The afternoon session is usually a run of the play, with some stopping and starting trying to figure our new staging (“Where does that cube go?”).

We have few breaks: the time flies and we need to finish by 4.30 so I can get across town to The Paratrooper Project, a dance/theatre/installation piece I am part of at The Judith Wright Centre.

IMG_9361Gracie our high school work experience placement helps set the stage

Can’t wait for next week. WE should be flying by then…can’t wait to share this with such vast demographic. This play is loved by the very young, the restless, the bold, the beautiful and the gracious senior members of our community. There is something in it for everyone. It spans the generations. Many folk came with their mothers, their grandmothers, their daughters and their sons. It is a piece to share…I will leave with you a picture of the set being installed today (Saturday) by Bev Jensen, Gabby Castle, Richard Jensen and some fabulous riggers from Queensland Theatre Company Rickie and Gavin.

Bev's floating walls are rigged in QTC studio

Bev’s floating walls are rigged in QTC studio

And here is Gabby Castle, our Stage Manager, making sure it all works:

Gabby our Stage Manager Extraordinaire helping install the set

Reflections on This is Capital City, La Boite Independents, May 2013

This is what i found today on La Boite website (http://www.laboite.com.au/cms/page.asp?ID=13) describing Capital City:

“One by one, audience members set out into the urban surrounds of the Kelvin Grove Village, now an imagined world called Capital City. Armed with a supplied mobile phone, you are charged by city officials to investigate the myths and locals of the city.

You are steered through Capital City by audio logs, flags and other unexpected trigger points. Here lies a community with something to hide. The locals tell one story, the city officials another, and the city itself keeps secrets of its own. At the end of your quest, on the city’s outskirts, you will be asked to take allegiance with one side. Keep a quick wit and focussed eye, for in Capital City, anything can happen.”

I have the delightful opportunity to participate in this experience last week…
I am given earphones.
I am instructed to put them on.
The Voice on the phone does the rest (no not that voice!)

I love being alone
and with a safety net
who is close by if I need him…
especially when i take off in a totally wrong direction.
Toby carefully guides me back on track!

I begin to wander around Kelvin Grove Village as directed by The Voice.

I’m not sure if I should tell you what I did in case I spoil it for you…suffice to say I am totally engaged in the experience. And adore having to deal with a lovely young man coming up to me and saying “Hi, remember me?” while i am engaged in the crucial last step (no he is not part of the show and where are you Toby at this point of negotiation?)

On reflection I can see where Sandra Carluccio and her excellent team will possibly head with this emerging form. There are other companies doing work of a similar ilk e.g. “One Step at a Time Like This”: http://www.onestepatatimelikethis.com/links.html. This link will take you to One Step website as well as links to other companies engaged in this type of work.

I think there is an absolute demand for these unique and boutique ways of theatrical interaction to develop within the everyday, especially here in Brisbane where the weather is brilliant most of the year and the big black boxes we call theatres demand so much investment in money and ‘things’, something most theatricals do not have. Why not use the city as our theatrical space? Who needs lights when there are torches and street lights?

Sandra and her creative team are surely on this path. I see this production as a wonderful beginning. My favourite moments? Surprisingly enough, isolated, being apart from the city but part of the city if you know what I mean.

What do I take away?

The experience of having to ‘solve a mystery’.
An awareness of my feet on the cement,
The shadows,
The lack of light,
The excitement of delving into something that needs to be solved… not by characters but by me.

In other words we are required to be embodied.
Something that most black box events do not demand.

What I would love to experience next time? A more developed storyline would engage me even deeper…having just watched a whole series of The Killer (Danish television…so good) i can see opportunities abound with twists and turns at the end which could make our skins crawl!

One thing that was wonderful was the opportunity to reflect on self-in-relationship-to-others.
Am i capable of doing what The Voice is suggesting?

I think we can expect a wonderful development from this special group of emerging artists who understand intrigue so well.

Thank you team!
A really worthwhile experience.

Can’t wait for the next step!