The Devised Yukon Project has come to a close. We finished with pubic presentations of a new work. It is somewhat crazy to see how far we've come these past 8 weeks. Then again, I have taken part in three week and even two week creation processes; now that is crazy. I'm glad we had the amount of time that we did. I don't think we would have learned as much if the time was any shorter and in the end this project was about learning for the future.
I'm so grateful for all the help along the way. I cannot say that enough. This has been a long difficult process with some steep learning curves. I'm glad I was surronded by supportive and encouraging people. I'm especially happy to be working with Jessica. She makes everything seem possible.
Now, I'm spending time processing. I'm bringing together all the feedback and am soliciting more from people whose eyes I trust. Generally, the feedback has been positive. More specifically, it gives me great insight into what this play is missing and what needs work. I'm happy we got a chance to get eyeballs on our work. Around 100 people made it out to Nowhere Near. I hope those 100 people stick with us for the next stages in this process.
Immediately, this show goes in a drawer. Incubation is an important time in the development of new work. I need time and distance to reexamine the work with fresh eyes. After being in a black room for 8 weeks time is needed to sever the emotional attachments and attack the work like a playwright. I also have a ton of homework due for my final year at Humber and reports and grants to write. Priorities priorities.
When I'm ready to come back to the DYP I'm first going reevaluate the goals the collective and I came up with at the beginning of the summer. Do I know the world in which the play takes place? The people in that world? How they move and talk? What their stories are? These will be my jumping off points for the work we plan to do on the script over the winter in order to prep it for Phase II.
DYP Phase II will be a lot of revision. We will look at the text and see how we can mold it to effectively convey our story. We will do the same with the physical action and explore how we can document and prescribe physical action while still making it fresh, personal and immediate. that is the initial thrust of our work over the next year. We embark on this part of the process cautiously. I don't want to sacrifice the freshness of our work this summer for a perfectly crafted piece of theatre. Firstly, I don't think any theatre piece can be "perfect" they are just works in varying degrees of development. People mentioned that Nowhere Near didn't look like a 'work in progress', but more of a completed show. That made me happy. That is what works in development should be; a high quality theatre experience is always the goal. Secondly, my gut tells me that the messy (at times) nature of the piece is what made it more alive. Some of the words we said changed from night to night. I don't want to craft something that doesn't leave room for the actor, their input and ownership.
That is a brief rundown of thoughts I've had since we closed up shop last Saturday. I hope to continue writing about theatre here in some former another. I hope that you, my faithful reader, will continue to check back and find what I say valuable.
Have a great Fall.