ArtsLab Shopfront's artists in residence

The Ensemble Meets

On our first meet together today we gathered in the local park behind Carlton Shops. The intention was to be by the river but the weather was dicey at the time. So we settled for the park since it was only hope skip and a jump away from the theatre if things turned.

We ate together.


And we read together.

We read the play out of order. Randomly selecting scenes. A task that Lucy, Christie and I had initially done together which proved to open up our understanding of the character’s journeys. So we tried it with this bunch and the response was great. There was a pleasure in really tuning into each scene and not feeling bound to the drive of then narrative. Instead really taking pleasure in the why McKinnon crafted each scene and the intricacies of each conversation. It was a kind of micro study of each chapter of the play.

As we read we roamed the park taking up a new space every couple of scenes. There was one moment at the play equipment when an invisible flock of birds in the trees above sang out making such a racket that they drown out the dialogue of the characters. Moments like these reminded us of the physical reality of the plays setting out doors, by the river. Reading the play outside allowed us to experience it in a more visceral or sensorial manner. It provided an experience of the text that would have been very different had we read it inside the theatre.

It got dark.



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