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Casting Opportunity / Castio

Mae We Made This ar fin dechrau creu gwaith newydd, The Girl With Incredibly Long Hair, ac yn chwilio am berfformwyr i ymuno â ni am dair wythnos ym mis Medi yn ein proses Ymchwil a Datblygu.

Mae The Girl With Incredibly Long Hair yn waith trochol, uchelgeisiol ar gyfer cynulleidfaoedd ifanc. Mae’n canolbwyntio ar adrodd stori Rapunzel yn ein hoes ni, lle nad ydym yn disgwyl i’r ferch gael ei harbed gan y bachgen, gyda’r cymeriadau benywaidd yn llunio eu tynged eu hunain. Ysbrydolwyd y prosiect hwn gan ein profiadau o adrodd straeon i’n plant ein hunain a’r awch i brofi theatr o safon uchel, sydd ddim yn parhau gyda’r stereoteipiau rhywiaethol.

Rydym yn chwilio am dri o berfformwyr (2 fenyw / 1 gwryw) sy’n gyfforddus wrth ddyfeisio, cydweithio ac sydd eisiau creu gwaith ar gyfer plant. Rydym eisiau unigolion sy’n barod i ganu, dawnsio, gwneud synau âg offeryn, animeiddio gwrthrychau, arbrofi a chwarae.

Bydd y cyfnod datblygu o Fedi 11-29 yng Nghaerdydd a’r Coed Duon, a bydd perfformwyr yn cael eu talu £500 yr wythnos.
Os oes gennych ddiddordeb, anfonwch CV a llun, neu linc i’ch tudalen Spotlight i hello@wemadethis.org.uk erbyn Gorffennaf 24ain.

Dyma gynhyrchiad gan We Made This, mewn partneriaeth â Sefydliad y Glöwyr Coed Duon a Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru, a chymorth gan Gyngor Celfyddydau Cymru, Y Loteri Genedlaethol, Llywodraeth Cymru a Creu Cymru.


We Made This are starting to make a new piece The Girl with Incredibly Long Hair, and are looking for performers to join us in a three week R&D this September.

The Girl with Incredibly Long Hair is an ambitious immersive work for young audiences. It takes the story of Rapunzel and reimagines it for our times, where we don’t expect the girl to need saving by the boy, and in which female characters can shape their own destiny. This project is inspired by our experiences of telling stories to our own children and wanting them to experience high quality theatre, which doesn’t perpetuate sexist stereotypes.

We’re looking for three performers (2 female/ 1 male) who are comfortable devising, working collaboratively and who want to make work for children. We want people who are willing to sing, dance, make noises with an instrument, animate objects, experiment and play.

The development period will be from 11-29 September, in Cardiff and Blackwood, and performers will be paid £500 per week.

If you’re interested, please send an acting CV and headshot – or a link to your spotlight page to hello@wemadethis.org.uk by July 24th

The Girl with Incredibly Long Hair is a We Made This production in partnership with Blackwood Miners Institute and Wales Millennium Centre, with support from Arts Council of Wales, National Lottery, Welsh Government & Creu Cymru.

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New immersive work for children

We’re excited to announce our next project, The Girl with incredibly long hair; an ambitious immersive work for young audiences. It takes the story of Rapunzel and reimagines it for our times, where we don’t expect the girl to need saving by the boy, and in which female characters can shape their own destiny. This project is inspired by our experiences of telling stories to our own children and wanting them to experience high quality theatre, which doesn’t perpetuate sexist stereotypes.

This September we’ll be beginning R&D on the project and working in partnership with Blackwood Miners Institute and Wales Millennium Centre.  If you want to know more about the project please get in touch.

The Girl with Incredibly Long Hair is a We Made This production in partnership with Blackwood Miners Institute and Wales Millennium Centre, with support from Arts Council of Wales, National Lottery, Welsh Government & Creu Cymru.

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On being distinctive

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Waiting for The Broke ‘n’ beat collective at On The Edge

I was lucky enough to receive a bursary to attend On The Edge in Birmingham recently. This gave me the opportunity to see some of the best work for children and young audiences being programmed around the world and work in progress works from UK artists.

I was there for the first half of the festival and over the first few days saw a range of work that didn’t really speak to me; now obviously I know I’m not the target age group, but I’ve spent enough of my life watching work to know how be able to put myself in a different audiences shoes. A lot of the work felt like it lacked real character – it was so wrapped up in being work for young people that it forgot to be itself.

This changed on the final day I was there, when I saw three pieces that had a real flavour of where they were from and who made them.

Bob Théâtre’s Nosferatu was a master class in object animation, humour, simplicity and telling a classic story through a new lens. Two men, a table and some lightbulbs are the basic elements to the show, but with these basic elements they create a world, where we can believe a light bulb with a face drawn on is a real man. It has a dark humour, and feels like it could only be made by these people. This is not a generic show for young audiences, it doesn’t sugar coat its subject, and it uses a sophisticated theatrical language. It also feels French – whatever that means – and that felt important to me.

Next up was Brush from Korea, which suffered a little (like many of the shows in the festival) from the lack of children in the audience. I’m not suggesting that the delegates, programmers and theatre makers watching aren’t a receptive audience, but my friends 4 year old in the row behind me found it hysterical in a way most of the adults around us couldn’t. The show was a simple story about a child who wanted a brother, but what makes it great is the way painted scenes are brought to like. Again the show feels rooted in a culture and has a strong sense of identity.

My final call of the day was The Broke ‘n’ beat collective. This mash up of hip-hop, theatre and puppetry was the only show I saw where the audience was mainly young people and this helped enormously. As did the language (theatrical, musical & text) used by the collective. The stories told of disaffected youth, portrayed through cardboard box puppets and rapped about were truly affecting – to the point that one story of a girl who self harmed was too upsetting for one member of the audience – and there was a great synergy of style, content and audience. It felt genuine, and had a distinctive sense of who it was by and for.

So often when I watch work I want to see more of the makers character in the work – for it to be distinctive, and distinguishable. So that’s my plea to makers of work for and with young people, as well as myself. Make work that comes from your culture, has a language that is rooted in where you’re from and that is recognisable. Make yourself distinctive and your work will be all the better for it.

MB

Experiments in co-writing

pont-grabwebOnce upon a time, there was a father and son, and a mum.

I wasn’t expecting to write something that began “once upon a time” then again, I wasn’t expecting to write something at all.

I’m not a writer – but over the years I’ve co-written lots of performance text. Some exist on paper, but most exist only in the performers bodies – written live in rehearsals, edited, refined and repeated. This process has worked well, and failed miserably. It’s led to taught pieces full of surprises, and flabby pieces, which were dramaturgically sloppy.

So how do we tighten that process? How do we keep the spirit of the openness of devising alive, without the risks of creating something confusing? Do we employ a writer, to take our freewheeling thoughts and shape that into something coherent? or a dramaturg to work alongside us as a critical friend to be the guardian of the idea, and act as interlocutor for the audience?

We could – but we wanted to try something we hadn’t done before. So last week, myself and Catherine Dyson spent a week, looking over what we’d made last year, teasing from that something which excited us and could become both interesting and coherent, then set about co-writing a script.

We wrote things on big pieces of paper, scene titles on post its, scribbled in notebooks and typed on laptops. We read things back to each other, made suggestions, edits and wrote again.

Neither of us has ever co-written a text before in this way, and one of the great things about it was that the play we’re creating couldn’t have been written by either of us alone, nor could it have existed without the previous R&D periods where we went from impetus and inspiration, to the nub of a story we wanted to tell.

We’re now at the point where we (finally) know what the story is, and that’s exciting. We haven’t finished writing all the text yet – and some of it we wont until we’re in rehearsal, where the actors will play with what we’ve written and make it their own. And that’s where it comes alive.

She pulls out a crow bar and smashes the bulkhead light that sits on the back wall. A guard dog starts to bark. Then more join in. The night is being woken up.

 

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Screen grab from projection for R&D. Image: Paul Burgess

Light is like – final r&d

Next week is the third, and final, r&d week on Light is like….

Copy of reaching-up

Last year  we spent a week making initial explorations of the material and language we were working in – visual, aural, verbal, humour etc.

In May we spent a week at Pontardawe Arts Centre, delving further into particular parts of the (potential) narrative, looking at the relationships and crucially working with young people from Mess up the Mess, to test some of the material. At the end of that week we spent the final day reviewing footage, talking through sections and trying to make sense of where we are going and what we’re making.

Q – Trying to make sense of it – shouldn’t you know what you’re doing already?

A – No – if we knew what we were making, what it would look, and feel like to watch – we wouldn’t need to have an r&d period.IMG_2207

In a previous blog I tried to explain why r&d is important, but for me the outcomes of the day we spent talking at the end of week two demonstrate this best.

When we spent time envisaging (individually) what the piece might be like we came up with very different ideas of how it might work – but at the core there was a shared sense of what we were making and how it might work for an audience. Most importantly there were complete surprises – eureka moments – where our “…floundering in the dark” payed off and we suddenly realised what we’d been searching for and looking at.

There’s now a narrative structure and a framework to go into this last week with – so that when people see a sharing on Friday – whilst they wont be seeing the show – we can give them a much clearer sense of what they will see/ sense / feel next year when they come back to see the show.

The other thing that r&d allows us to do is have a conversation with venues, and audiences we wouldn’t normally be able to. So an artistic director/ programmer can come to a sharing and get a sense of what we’re about and the work we’re making instead of being asked to programme the work unseen from a 1 side pitch. We can also start a conversation with a potential audience about the work – so the input from Mess up the Mess has fundamentally altered the work and will hopefully continue into the next stage.

So we head into next week with the lights on, knowing what we’re looking for and at – though this could all change of course…

We Made This: Matt Ball, Paul Burgess, Catherine Dyson, Cis O’Boyle, Nia Skyrme & Morgan Thomas

We Made This gratefully acknowledge the support of Pontardawe Arts Centre, Creu Cymru, Mess up the Mess, WalesLab and the Arts Council of Wales.

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Why do you need R&D?

light is like sharing

Next week, six months after an initial R&D supported by WalesLab, we return to the rehearsal room to begin a second phase of R&D on Light is like, this time at Pontardawe Arts Centre.

Its amazing how quickly it time has gone – the end of May seemed an age away when we first discussed it, but now its already upon us. The books have been read and the material digested. Ideas, which once shone brilliantly, now seem clichéd and dumb. This is the point where an R&D period finds its purpose; let me explain.

I am not a playwright; that’s not to say I don’t write words that are spoken on stage but I co-author those words, and the ideas behind them, with a group of people in a rehearsal room. It goes back to the idea that two heads are better than one, or the power of the crowd/ collective. By working in a way that gives (hopefully) equal prominence to others ideas, I’m acknowledging that I don’t have all the answers. I have lots of questions, and lots of gaps in my thinking. I will use the phrases “I’m not sure” and “I don’t know” a lot during next week, but these will be counterbalanced by the “I see” and “that’s great”.

As a theatre maker, rather than a playwright, I work in a space with people’s bodies, minds, eyes and voices. For me theatre making is a plural process, which can sometimes be frustrating for everyone, and one which I sometimes describe as floundering in the dark to find the light switch; it’s about looking for clarity and the most elegant way to express the idea. In science and design we understand what r&d is about – and structured processes have developed which are about the end goal. In the arts r&d should have the same focus; testing ideas and refining them for the audience. So we wont be doing a reading of a script, or performing a version of the play – we’ll be working with test audiences to try out the ideas, we refine them based on feedback and try again; research and development.

For more info on the project go to click here

We Made This: Matt Ball, Paul Burgess, Catherine Dyson, Cis O’Boyle, Nia Skyrme & Morgan Thomas

We Made This gratefully acknowledge the support of Pontardawe Arts Centre, Creu Cymru and the Arts Council of Wales.

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