We began the development of Fury last Thursday (31 May, 2012). I am going to do my best to give you an idea of what developing a work in this manner is like. It is new to me. For those of you who don't know my writing style, I tend to get an idea and then quietly work away at it in my attic (kitchen table) with my half burned candle (15w enviro globe). This is how I wrote "Killing Jeremy" and it took three years people. Yes, three years. I also wrote a couple of one act plays, about 30 short plays and sundry monologues with this method. It worked for me.
I then got the idea for "Rhonda is in Therapy" and I wrote about half of it and thought "Perhaps I could develop it"! It was like a light appeared through a window, shone on my head and angels sang. It really felt like a revelation!
|Me, and the light - what a great moment that was..|
I got four excellent actors and a wonderful director into a room and went about writing it. The only thing was, that I basically did exactly the same thing that I always do, except now I had walking dolls to do my bidding! Hurrah! I wrote and they performed, it was much more like a rehearsal then a development. I wrote the play, and I was happy with it, but I didn't develop the play with the group - I hadn't really learned how to do that. It's a skill, actually, and you need to be taught. That said, the play was made - and that is the outcome you want, no doubt. All up Rhonda took me 2 years to write. And I'm still drafting. Plus, and let's be clear about this, those actors and director are so good that they shaped the way that I thought about the characters and allowed them to live and breath in a way that simply would not have been possibly with me in my attic alone with candle etc. So it was a step in the development direction.
And now Fury. When I applied for funding for Fury I had written 9 pages and a synopsis. I had a strong idea about what I wanted the play to be about - and the material was compelling - but I felt, or rather sensed that I was going to need help. The idea for Fury came in 2010 (I blogged about that on July 8th, 2010), and I wrote a bit and talked a bit and then tried to get funding. I didn't get any funding - I went to my room, slammed the door and refused to come out.
|I iz angry. I iz not coming out!|
Last year I saw a production called "A Stranger in Town" - this was the result of a development between writer Christine Croyden and director Alice Bishop. I vaguely knew her - she's mates with my good mate Wayne. A Stranger in Town had a lot of visual elements that I loved, transformation of space and time and objects - elegantly and economically done. I also heard a lot of great stuff about Alice - people said she was very NICE!
I am shy though and don't like approaching people I don't know. Then providence struck. Or, rather, Wayne. Alice designed the set for "The Fallen Tree", a play that I acted in (and Wayne directed), earlier this year and we met and I tentatively asked her if she was interested and she was. And she is REALLY NICE. And she was pleased to be asked. It was awesome.
|Almost as awesome as this.|
|Me. Caring and Working.|
- Christina Costigan
- Tiffany Davis
- Verity Charlton
- David Kambouris
- Daniela Farinacci
- Rama Nicholas.
At the end of the night I could see how this process was going to show me the play, how the play would be revealed to me. I was quietly and smugly excited... Alice and I met on Tuesday night. In the meantime I had written three scenes and deleted others. I was sewing it up, NO DOUBT. High five for me! YEAH.
Alice politely popped my balloon with her observations of the text and the process and I realised that I was in the grip of learning another lesson. Bah! another lesson!?
|OMG! Like, What?|
We have our next session tomorrow night, and I am, frankly, suffused with warmth and excitement at the possibilities that we can explore.
|If you google "Suffused with excitement" you get this groundhog.|