Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Right Reason to Work



"You have the right to work, but for the work's sake only. You have no right to the fruits of work. Desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive in working...Work done without anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender...They who work selfishly for results are miserable."

-The Bhagavad Gita


RMO Projects: Short Performances for Audience Research

Some work from The Space made it into a longer evening of pieces. Take note, take it down, and show up if you can.

***************

RMO Projects:
Short Performances for Audience Research

What: Three RMO research projects are looking for your help to participate in our audience research. We would like to find out about your reaction, thoughts and feedbacks about our work.
There will be three sets of performances. After each performance, there will be a short questionnaire session in order to get your feedbacks.

When: Monday 16th of March, 6.30pm
Where: Studio 2 (Next to the Small Workshop)

We would be really grateful for your help in participating
in our audience research.
Please book your place in advanced by replying to this mail.
Thank you!

Story-telling: Reduction or Fragmentation
by MA Advanced Theatre Practice: Jinhee Park and Wilatluk Sinswat;
The showing of two versions, reductive and fragmentary, of the same story. We would like to compare and contrast the different impact each piece may have on the audience.

Verbatim
by MA Advanced Theatre Practice: Performing - Hedva Eltanani, Matthew Haigh. Research group: Dan Baker, Sara Giafrante, Melissa Langdon
Two edited versions of an open interview. We question the decision making while editing a text for a verbatim theatre.

The Screen Actor's Responsibility to "Truth": Verisimilitude, the Body as Text and the Consumption of Celebrity Culture
by MA Acting for Screen Students: Lauren MacKinlay, Alondra Salinas Pavon, Leah Wagner, Catherine Yearley, Emily Phillips and Faye Knight
Two versions of two different scenes will be screened. The given circumstances of each scene required the characters to either be under the influence of alcohol or be sleep deprived. In an effort to be truthful, the actors experimented performing both scenes in two versions: one literally under the circumstances above and one making use of the imagination and other acting tools. Looking for audience's response to both versions.

A woman of The 21st Century
by Hedva Eltanani (with the help of Poppy Corbet, Ronan McMahon and The Space (in) Between)
Devised monologue which is one out of three parts experiment. The experiment research the relationship between the audience and the performance.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Session 5

Attendees:
Mauro
James
Hedva
Sara
2 guests (belonging to Hedva)
Lea
Leslie

Activities of the Day:

Development:
Hedva actually started the day off by performing the latest version of the monologue she has been working on the past couple of weeks. It was wonderful to see how it has come over such a short time. There should be a performance of it in the not so distant future.

Restrictions:
Lea read a piece she had written in response to the stimulus. She read it in both Italian and Spanish, and then finally in English. One of Hedva's guests remarked, "The English was a catharsis," because Lea had struggle with the pronunciation of the first two languages. The struggle was in part an attempt to consider one of the sentences, and maintain a sense of "live-ness" in the performance. Here is the text:

Sometimes I want everything all at once so quickly that I think I will drown. The space between the woman I want to become and the woman I am is epic. Or it is not. Sometimes it seems like an inch, then I turn my head and it is three leagues off, then four, then a thousand years away, or it already happened. Sometimes I do not know where I am. Sometimes the air reminds me of the exact air that surrounded me years ago, of places I do not remember but can still sense. Sometimes I talk about events like the Great War, or the French countryside, as if I had some knowledge of them, but I was not around then and there, I do not know them. They do not know me. Sometimes I wish I existed only in sound, in a musical note, surrounded by reverberations and breath, and not in this body, just a shell surrounding myself that is still mysterious, and if I could only just see it maybe I would not want anything else anymore.

Feedback:
Mauro shared a play he has translated from Spanish to English, and is currently working to translate to his native Portuguese. It was a short play by Rodrigo Garcia, called Killing the Hours. For an interesting article on a reaction to Garcia's work, please go here.

Leslie shared some images of the work she had contributed to in Germany for the transmediale festival. One of the thoughts the art work focused on was why climate change means cultural change. For the festival's website, go here.


And that's it, friends. No sentences this week, as we have concluded The Space (in) Between for this term. Thanks to all who participated in the sessions. Thank you for taking the time to share your talents, interests, and artistic endeavours with us and letting us help you when we could and when you needed it. Here's to a great third term!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

FINAL SESSION OF THE SPACE

Hullo Spacers and voyeurs of the net-

Last Friday didn't come together in terms of The Space, but thanks to everyone that took the time to let me know they wouldn't be able to make it. It's great to know it's on some people's minds.

In light of the gruelling rehearsal process and work load of both Stage Two Practice and the research projects, The Space's final session will occur this Friday, 27 February at 2PM in PS2. Please prepare the Five Sentences posted from the previous session if you are responding to the stimulus. All in all, it would just be great to see the lot of you and get your feedback in terms of what was useful, fun, helpful, or frustrating about the work that happened for, around, because of, or in spite of The Space.

Thanks again, and look forward to seeing you,
Lea

Sunday, February 15, 2009

If you're too comfortable, you may need to ask yourself what you're *not* doing.

"In the end it all comes down to this: you have a choice (or more accurately a rolling tangle of choices) between giving your work your best shot and risking that it will not make you happy, or not giving it your best shot--and thereby guaranteeing that it will not make you happy. It becomes a choice between certainty and uncertainty. And curiously, uncertainty is the comforting choice."

--David Bayles and Ted Orland, Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

Saturday, February 14, 2009

CHANGE OF LOCATION: SESSION 5

NOTE: Session 5 on 20 February 2009 will take place downstairs in the Hampstead Theatre. Be there.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Session 4

Attendees:
Lea
Mauro
Leslie
Maria
Ronan
Loukia
Ariana
Hugo

Activities of the Day:

Restrictions:
Lea started the day off by first sharing her artifact (a photograph of herself and her mother) and then showing a short film she made in response to last week's second and fourth sentences ("Create a story with a pencil," & "Find something extraordinary about something ordinary."). There it is, just below. It has no audio, but is still affective. At least Mauro thought so.



A discussion was prompted by the film about the "silly" sometimes having tragic qualities, and what it is to apply human attributes to inanimate objects. Ronan commented on the ability to impose feeling in the piece with just words: you didn't have to show the pencil moving to show that he was happy. The group touched on alienation for a moment, discussing how the audience is suddenly responsible for that part of the equation<--the inferring of the pencil's happiness, the pen's forlorn look, etc. There is an active engagement there that may not have happened if the photographic segments had actually been filmed action, and without that engagement the viewer may not have been as invested. The topic of audience participation in this manner came up again later in the session. The film Stranger Than Fiction was also referenced.

Hedva brought in a small elephant as her artifact, and he sadly lost his only remaining eye during the session. Ronan gave him new eyes with tape, as you can see.

Photo by Lea McKenna-Garcia

The little guy was from Thailand, and was quite cute up close, it must be said.


Development:

Hedva brought in a monologue dealing further with the experiment she had brought up last week. It was a piece of writing blending Brechtian style and themes with verbatim text, and incorporating as well as discussing a monologue by the character Agrado in Pedro Almodovar's film Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About My Mother). Various feedback was given regarding the structure and content of the monologue, and we hope that Hedva will bring in the next draft of this work next week for us to see its development. The content of the monologue has been kept out of this blog for copyright purposes. If you are interested in what could come of blending an Almodovar monologue, verbatim text, and Brechtian narrative style, please feel free to join us next week and discover it first-hand. (Assuming, of course, you practice Advanced Theatre.)

Leslie joined us this week, and first handed out business cards for her latest artwork.* Then she showed the beginning of the film Space is the Place, and discussed how she was attempting to develop a piece in the same spirit of the film (psychedelic scifi) for the theatre with some fellow MAers. She hopes to have a large emphasis on LoFi effects and equipment. Again we started talking about what an audience invests if they're asked to do a little work, and the difference between the journey they go on when they have to investigate or bridge a gap on their own instead of having everything fed to them. The proposal of this piece excited many, and we hope to hear more about it as it develops.

Leslie also briefly introduced a project she is helping with called "Society of Molecules ," and plans on discussing that more fully next week.

The idea of the similarity between the labels "theatre" and "live art" was touched on briefly as well, but not expanded on. Perhaps we'll delve into that next week also.

*(Please call 0800 756 6662 for more information.)

The Five Sentences for this week:

SENTENCES ASSIGNED TO BE SHARED FRIDAY, 20 FEBRUARY:
  1. You can only use two feet of space (0.6 meters).
  2. Incorporate a language that is not your native language.
  3. “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!”
  4. Revisit a sentence from a previous week and re-examine it.
  5. All art is personal and autobiographical.