Tag Archives: rehearsal room

Insight, process, opportunities, competitions, TanzKongress

I originally started this blog to write about process from the inside, making three projects and bringing them to production in 2012. Since those furiously creative days, I’m relieved to say my work has been different (I would easily have burned out otherwise!) and I’ve been engaged in several other writing projects, all at different stages in development, more of which, below.

This blog initially was about documenting various processes for a playwright/dramaturg/co-creator, working towards production  (these posts are still available in this blog’s archive). This is still a focus, for I’m interested in exploring the breadth and diversity of the skills a writer may need within any creative process – and it is something I will document again, when in production.

I think there is a myth that we do just one thing – write – (as though that weren’t demanding and challenging enough!). I’m curious about the other elements required for a writing life – the other tools we may need to survive, which include everything from accountancy skills and being able to write outstanding grant applications, to the social skills required for collaboration in the rehearsal room. This is an area I intend to blog about in the future. But I am even more curious with how other artists do it – how do we survive a bad review, little success, disappointing sales, and that doubting dark night of the soul..? This is one reason why I started ’20 Questions…’ to learn from other artists, writers, actors, sculptors and those engaged professionally with creativity how and why we continue to do this. And to be reminded of the inherent value – even necessity – of this compulsion.

And so this blog has continued to evolve, bringing in other voices and opinions rather than being focused solely on my own process when in the doing (although I will for sure do this again, when the opportunity arises). I also have been using it to highlight certain political debates (‘cripping up’, the use of black face in German theatres, ageism and sexism within the profession, etc), and also highlighting certain opportunities and competitions for writers within the UK as well as internationally. When I began this blog, I always wanted to create something that would be useful – and hope this will be the experience for those who trouble to read it.

In the spirit of this, I want to draw attention to the approaching deadline on 31st May 2013 of The Bridport Prize, whose mission is ‘to encourage emerging writers and promote literary excellence through its competition structure.’ Well established, it offers £15,000 in prizes for poetry, short stories, and flash fiction, with judges including Wendy Cope and Michele Roberts. For details of the competitions, please go to: http://www.bridportprize.org.uk

As to me…. so far 2013 has been primarily about completing one large long-standing prose project, delivering the first draft of a theatre commission and initiating new projects in media drama and live performance. Some are my own projects as a solo writer, but others are international collaborations with the Llanarth Group: an Irish/Welsh/Singapore-Chinese/American/South Korean co-creation in the Summer and the other a cultural exchange in Japan late in the year. Meanwhile I will be continuing my fellowship at Freie Universitat’s international research centre ‘Interweaving Performance Cultures’ in Berlin, reflecting on the relationship between ‘mainstream’ and disability cultures.

As part of this, I will be presenting at dance conference  TanzKongress in Dusseldorf on Saturday 8th June: ‘Border Control: Framing the Atypical Body. “You say radical, I say conservative, you say inclusive, I say subversive.”’

The schedule is overwhelming and looks incredibly exciting. For further details go to:


The Echo Chamber: Dramaturgy and different kinds of text








Peader’s hands, working with action and space.

The past few days in rehearsal I’ve been very aware of the different kinds of dramaturgy and the different kinds of text involved in making a collaborative piece.

We have a series of structures (or ‘scenes’) and we have begun to explore possible sequences and orders for The Echo Chamber. We are all working on the same structure, but with different modes of engagement. I’m struck by how each of us, with pens and scripts and books, are notating, exploring, working something out, or remembering.

Ian and Phillip make extensive notes which I assume are about their cues, movement, inner and physical scores; Ace, our designer and lighting designer, is drawing diagrams and thinking (I assume) in light and shade; Peader is drawing boxes, identifying how the space is used and activated during a sequence of structures; and I’m commenting on individual lines as they are voiced, thinking about the tempo-rhythm and flow of a sequence, and also thinking about the dramaturgy of the whole.

For a moment in the rehearsal room there is no noise but the scratch of pen on page. I almost laugh. And to think I thought I was the writer…