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The Awful 2017

Absolutely. Yes.

“As this year comes to a close, all I hear anyone talk about is how grateful they are that such a snafu of a year is ending.  After listening to this commotion, I myself began to start feeling that 2017 was indeed one of the worst years of my life …

I asked myself: how can I ensure that 2018 does not become such an awful year?”

via The Awful 2017 – Live with a Heart

(Oops, I tried to reblog this earlier but it went to my old site. Apologies if anyone followed a bad link to nowhere …)

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I gave you an accidental back scratch…

“All this to say that when something is bugging me, I tend to ‘lean in.’ I feel the water lapping at my toes and instead of walking off to find a pair of sandals, I find the deep end and dive in head first.”

Source: Missed Connections ‹ When Do I Get The Manual?

Gosh. Well doesn’t that just sum it up! I often ‘lean in’ and often when the better move might be to ‘lean out’.

This is a lovely blog. And you should definitely read all the way through to the bonus ending 🙂

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Story Shuffle

Keen to try this out but just realised, following move, am a bit more isolated in terms of other writing friends than I used to be. I took you for granted co-located writing buddies … I’m sorry….

On the other hand, maybe this is motivation to organise a day or weekend of writing events to make new writing friends…

“Story Shuffle: A Collaborative Writing Exercise

Participants in this exercise will use index cards to generate short prose fragments. Once collected together and shuffled, the fragments form a single work of collaborative fiction which, though no doubt peculiar in structure and varied in tone, will present surprising and exciting arrangements of setting, character, points of view, and plot.”

Source: Writing Resources | Jedediah Berry

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I love immersive theatre but I hate costume parties.

I’m excited for this but I really have no idea what to wear, or what ‘character’ to inhabit. I think I may have to play the role of someone who stumbled into this thing by accident and therefore looks out of place (within the imagined world of the show/party) but also as though they’re this way on purpose (at the meta level). Or, you know, I could just get over it and try to have a good time … Continue reading

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1:Many

This morning I was reading the No Pro post about the opening weekend of the 2015 Without Walls festival (WoW) and was taken-aback to encounter notes about a solo immersive work.

‘This is what open-frame solo shows should be like.’

via A Weekend to be WOWed.

The production was The Bitter Game by Keith Wallace:

‘The Bitter Game blends verse, prose and “shit-talkin,'” into a stirring commentary that begs the question, what does it mean to survive while Black in America? This solo work, ripe with pain, poetry and laughter, examines the relationship between a young man and his mother as each struggles to protect one another from that which seems inevitable. The Bitter Game explores the subtle and often unrecognized effects of racism, the question of police agency, and the value of Black lives in this country.’

via La Jolla Playhouse.

Why was I taken-aback by this? Because I hadn’t realised that, even though I’ve resisted adopting any firm definition of what immersive theatre is or could be, and even though I’ve very recently been reading about festivals and events that include multiple interactive (and potentially immersive) performances I had nonetheless adopted a default picture of immersive theatre in my mind. That picture always, I now realise, included multiple performers. Reading about events that included multiple 1:1 type performances such as Domicile hadn’t triggered the realisation because, I think, I was still reading it as involving groups of, rather than solo, performers. The description of The Bitter Game bumped right up against that, particularly because of the 1:Many performance to audience relationship it involved. So useful to be reminded that, as much as you try to avoid it, it’s very easy for your thinking (even subconsciously) to slip towards the creation of lazy models rather than thinking about each specific instance as an individual instance.

It’s also really useful because it highlights that it is possible to create a successful immersive work without needing a cast of thousands.

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‘Buy a ticket, find out your character’

supercinema2Supercinema at the McKittrick Hotel: Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet, 13 Feb. 2016.

I really loved this film. I remember dreaming about it in the lead-up to its release; so it feels like a good match with Sleep No More in terms of its tendency to inhabit the sleeping mind.

But, looking at the ‘buy tickets’ page and the big list of character pictures, I’m wondering – will this be anything more than a big dress-up party?

Not that there’s anything wrong with it just being a party where you’re given a character ‘category’ to dress as (e.g. the Montagues or the Capulets)… but wouldn’t it be amazing if the experience somehow transcended that. I’m imagining that ‘through the fishtank’ scene in the movie – the immersion and wonder and speechlessness of that. Would there be a way to create that feeling and experience (which is necessarily intimate) for more than a few audience members at such a large event? Does it matter?