Property and Theft is at a fascinating stage right now: it’s an idea, half worked out, with performance dates, a wholebunch of interested people, and a strong desire to make the whole process as open as possible. One of the reasons for holding a workshop was to see if there was a way to find performers without holding an audition: as you’ll see, I’ve caved to that convention, because of the need of a dedicated core of performers (I’ve unsuccessfully worked with an open performance group before), but have hopefully found an elegant solution with an idea of “Open Rehearsals”. The level of interest, and that process experiment, will allow this project to be extensively documented, to be more genuinely open source — so expect to see more posts here!
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This is an e-mail for everyone who’s expressed an interest in the “Property and Theft” project; it goes over what’s going to happen next, and how you can get involved.
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What’s going to happen next:
On Tuesday evening we held a workshop exploring some ideas of interactive theatre and the project; it was a fairly casual workshop, held to see what interest there was in the project and help me work out how to take it forward. Here’s what’s definitely going to happen in terms of performances:
Property and Theft will be a set of short interactive performances given within a theatre space: audiences will be free to move around and interact with the performance within, and to come and go as they please. To get an idea of the kind of work it’s been so far, you can have a look at our website at https://opensourcetheatre.wordpress.com . The design will be flexible enough to be performed in a variety of different spaces, and we might think about doing guerilla or street performances as well.
On March 11th and March 25th we’ll be holding “scratch” performances of Property and Theft at Tollcross Community Centre. A scratch is a small showing of an early-to-mid-stage project where audiences can come and see work in development and offer their feedback. Then, in May, we’ll do three full evening performances on the 13th – 15th at the Glue Factory in Glasgow, as part of This Collection’s “Slow Conference”. What happens to the project after that will depend on what those involved are interested in doing!
Between now and March 11th we’ll be experimenting with “open rehearsals”: I’m going to recruit a small team of performers (details below), and we’ll develop the piece together, but we’re also going to hold regular public rehearsals where others can come along and take part in our development process. This is to allow a wider community of people with different availabilities to get involved in making a theatre project happen. So:
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How you can get involved:
PERFORMERS: I’m looking for three to six performers to develop the piece with, who are confident at improvising and interacting with audiences, interested in political and social engagement, and eager to be part of an experimental and creative development process. You’d also need to be available for about three hours a week from now until May for rehearsals (which will be flexibly arranged), and available all day on performance dates. There will be scope to have different performers for different performances, so if you can’t make all the dates, you may still be able to take part. Because of a huge level of interest, I’m going to have to hold auditions for this, which will be late next week (details coming soon). If you’d like to express an interest in performing in the project, reply to this email with some details about yourself, your experience and interests, and also your availability between Thursday 3rd and Saturday 5th February, when auditions will be held. You don’t need to attach a performance CV, but if you’ve got one handy it might help. This isn’t to screen people, but just to get a sense of who’s interested.
STAGE MANAGEMENT / PRODUCTION: I’m looking for one or two people to get involved in the material side of things: sourcing equipment, preparing the venue, finding spaces, assisting at rehearsals, &c. If you’re interested in being involved in this way, then reply to this email with a bit about yourself and what you do. Similar notes about availability apply here as for performers.
DOCUMENTATION / FILM: I’m also looking for one or two people with an interested in film-making to help document the project by filming bits of rehearsals and performances, and maybe doing interviews with participants. This is a fairly open brief because a couple of people expressed an interest: if this sounds like something you’d be up for (low and flexible commitment required), get in touch!
OPEN REHEARSALS: If you like the sound of the project but don’t want to be heavily involved, then you don’t need to do anything right now: I’ll send notices to this group about he rehearsal process and how you can get involved in offering your thoughts, feedback, energy and skills!
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Finally, a note on money, because some of you asked, and because it’s important:
We all like to get paid, including me, especially if we’re trying to build careers in performance. I also hold to the philosophy that if someone in a team gets paid, everyone gets paid. But at this stage there is no money attached to this project. Takings at March performances will cover running costs, including travel expenses, so no one will be out of pocket. However, I am applying for funding for the May performances and, if the project looks set to continue, into the future. That funding will be partly for running costs, but also to provide fees to the team. Nothing’s certain on that yet, but I’m hopeful, and I work hard on getting money so that people can get paid.
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Thank you all for your interest, and apologies for the length of this email. It’s as long as it is because I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by the response! I’m looking forward to really getting going with this project.