Tuesday, 30 September 2014

(Theatre) Making Theatre...with your friends.

For two years I have been working on solo shows. At first having full creative control was liberating, but gradually after months of 'rehearsing' (talking to myself) all alone in my bedroom I was fanging to have someone else to say lines to. So when a drama school friend suggested working together for the upcoming Fringe Festival I didn't even let her finish her sentence before saying yes.Quickly another friend/housemate was added and our 'theatre company' was formed. Below is a chronicle of our somewhat unconventional process.

1. The Beginning
You choose a play, then you realise you can't afford the rights to the chosen play, then you decide to do something different, then you decide to do a fairytale, then some of you go to Sydney to a Benedict Cumberbatch convention, then at the convention someone's boyfriend talks about a version of 'Beauty and the Beast', then you decide to write, choreograph and perform a physical theatre piece of 'The Beauty and The Beast'.

2. Planning
You find a use for your Frankie Calendar and spend a good 5 hours planning the next 5 months. Events such as Birthday Tram Car celebrations are given equal weight as confirming flyer design.

3. Style
You go to a weird back entrance to a studio in Brunswick and run and jump around with some other girls making gurgling sounds whilst a Japanese woman plays a drum (Butoh). You go to a friends music studio and make monkey poses and look at a real human skull (and spill the teeth out of the real human skull) (Alexander Technique). You go to the zoo to observe Lion, Reptile and Buffalo movement. There are no Buffalos but you do use some circus skills to rescue a ball a small, stupid child threw on the roof of a pergola. (Animotions)

4. Research
You read (almost) every single version of 'The Beauty and The Beast' from the 1740 to now. Luckily one of you works at a library and can borrow every single fairytale book without overdue fines. You also watch every video with titles such as 'If Disney Princes were real' and 'If Disney Princesses had snapchat'.

5. Writing
You realise you can't keep researching how Baroque woman used horse hair and pometan forever so start writing a script. You heatedly discuss whether it should be 'The' Merchant or 'A' Merchant for most of the allocated writing time. (Then you give the lines to yourself and say whatever the hell you want under the guise of 'forgetting'. You also drink alot of tea and play with plastic jumping frogs.

6. Script
You have a script! Sort of. (2 months later when actually saying the words of the script you realise you have written the same phrase MANY times. 6a. You rewrite the script).

7. Rehearsal
You start rehearsing. You talk about what happened at the party on the weekend. You tell yourselves off and go back to rehearsing. Repeat infinitely.
To save on renting a space you rehearse in houses with all the furniture pushed back, backyards and parks. Your housemate cannot get into the living room and your neighbours are surprised/annoyed.

8. Design
After trying to source your own costumes you realise you need someone with real skills. At various parties and drunken outings you engage talented friends to do design elements of your show. You promise them limited money and unlimited love and esteem in return.

9. Bump In
You carry a candelabra, hula hoop, rattling silverware, stacks of large books glued together and a tray of coffee on a peak hour train like homeless bag-women. Then you leave all these in your work staff room intriguing people for many weeks. You multitask by making props whilst having an online marketing meeting whilst drinking coffee.

10. Performance
You say all the words at (mostly) the right time. You have some champagne. In the case of 66% of the cast you go home together because you live together. You watch 'Seinfeld'.

11. Future
Despite some raised tensions over syntax you are still friends.

Thanks to the lovely Jade Thomson and Jessie Phillips for being my fellow creators and putting up with my stubborn, opinionated personality. If we were strangers brought together by a casting agent I promise I would be much more polite.

For more infomation on 3 Actors visit:

To book tickets for our remaining shows visit:

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