DOCUMENTATION OF LIVE ENCOUNTER PART 1.
DOCUMENTATION OF LIVE ENCOUNTER PART 2.
TIMELINE OF THE OTHERS
2022 MAY 9
Get to know each other- Identity politics and personal stories
This multi-national, multilingual group finally got together in the rehearsal room! Our members hailed from Singapore, South Korea, India, United States of America, Kyrgyzstan, Ghana/United Kingdom, and Catalonia/Mali! Rich research and stories were shared on the complexity behind our socio-political-cultural backgrounds and the inter-relationship with the UK. We also shared intimate personal stories that have moved us and how our identities made us feel ‘othered’ here in London.
2022 MAY 11
Field trip to Greenwich – NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM https://www.rmg.co.uk/national-maritime-museum
As part of our research, we made a field trip to the National Maritime Museum. It was an eye opener to view British history through their lens and how the early naval explorations were glorified. It was exceptionally provoking when we encountered exhibits pertaining to the colonised countries and slavery and how the contents were framed. Ironically, the exhibits on slavery had a sign that said ‘work in progress’.
2022 MAY 12
Second field trip to whitechapel – Altab Ali Park https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altab_Ali_Park
As part of our research, we made a second field trip to Altab Ali Park at White Chapel. Altab Ali’s murder sparked off a massive outcry against racism. The atmosphere was solemn as we reflected on how language was used as a tool of preservation and oppression.
2022 MAY 16
Exploration of body, language and space through viewpoints
We kick started stage two of our process (R&D) with The Viewpoints (by Anne Bogart and Tina Landau)! After exploring the nine viewpoints (tempo, duration, kinesthetic response, repetition, spatial relationship, gestures, shapes, topography and architecture), we honed in on our impulses and responses to words and phrases generated from the field trips and research to create images and movements in the open viewpoints exercise.
2022 MAY 17
Body balance & anchor & questions & structure
It was another round of physical exploration with focus on communicating ideas through giving and receiving weight. Using Viewpoints’ compositional tool (question, anchor and structure), we brainstormed various questions, anchors and structures inspired by our research and created quick fragments in pairs. It was a rich exploration of potential storytelling techniques and forms we could potentially use in our piece.
2022 MAY 23
Screen & typist & speaker & mover
R&D continued after our first sharing on 18th May with the class with more experimentation using technology (dictation and google translate!), spoken words based on prose that we had written and researched, as well as movement inspired by the spoken words. It was an interesting interplay between the role of technology, spoken words and movement as modes of communication.
2022 MAY 24
Language & voice & voiceless
We started off with telling myths or fables in our mother tongue and switched between voicing the words and being voiceless while telling the stories with gestures. The presence of the microphone in the midst of all the action provoked thoughts on silence, silencing, voiceless and having a voice but spoken in our native tongues that weren’t understood by everyone.
2022 MAY 30
Native language & English
Explorations of our personal relationships with our native languages and English continued as made connections to previously explored ideas around oppression! We shared deep personal sentiments on the above and watched the sharings being reenacted by our group mates. It was soul satisfying to be empathetically listened to.
2022 MAY 30
Using Biomechanics techniques, we broke down movements into simple elements. Captivating and intriguing images were made as we juxtaposed biomechanics movement sequences with spoken words from texts related to our identities.
2022 JUNE 6
Voice & movement
A continuation of storytelling with voicing in our native tongues voice and voicelessness. This time round, we included English and switching between languages. The voice and absence of voice as well as English provoked thoughts on colonisation and power.
2022 JUNE 8
How do we engage audiences? Are audiences responsible for being engaged as well? We shared research on audience participation and experimented with different forms of invitations in audience participation: overt, covert, implicit and accidental invitations.
2022 JUNE 9
Street speech & tube
Automatic writing in response to provocations on mother tongue, culture and diminishing culture. The writings were performed in a public space (gasp!). Our words were drowned by the street sounds and ignored. But the words stayed with us. In the second half of our rehearsal, we consolidated the materials generated so far with Viewpoints compositional tools. We considered what we want in our playworld collectively in terms of point of view, architecture, framing device, character, light and colour, scale, role of audiences, language, storytelling techniques, genre, characters. Eventually we arrived as a question, anchor and structure for our piece! Our question was: how do we make people fight to save culture/identity with joy and love. Our anchors (we couldn’t decide, so we used all of them!) were: verbatim, our testimonies, voting/democracy, collective memory, and wildfire. Our structure was: the tube!
2022 JUNE 14
This marked the beginning of stage three: curation of our materials. We created fragments based on our question, anchors and structure and consolidated all the materials to develop the dramaturgy by organising fragments and scenographic elements.
2022 JUNE 16
Making squences & participatory
After the second sharing with the classmates, we consolidated feedback and created more fragments based on our question, anchor and structure. Characters began to emerge as we worked mother tongues, translation, and audience participation within the tube setting.
2022 JUNE 17
Making squences at Tube
What can possibly happen in the tube? Plenty. An assortment of characters appeared in our improvisations such as a tourist who needed help with translation, a station master, a lady with a lot of shopping, a thief pretending to read, people talking loudly on the phone and a mother with a pram. What began to emerge is we wanted audiences to experience moments of being jolted out of the suspense of disbelief in the tube and point to reality. this is not a tube, this is not a theatre, this is reality.
2022 JUNE 20
Hot seating. An exercise where characters take the hot seat and get questioned. We interrogated our characters in a dramatic fashion: Femi – migrated from Nigeria; Liu En – undocumented from China; Mawali – grandma who came over because of family; Eun Jeong Cho – holiday work visa from Korea; Concha – Came here to work for money, from Spain; Alissa – work as a freelance script writer, in London on talent visa and from Moscow; Becca – a busker from Singapore, came to London because being gay sex is criminalised in Singapore.
2022 JUNE 21
The characters were placed in the station and tube with improvised interactions between characters in those spaces. We worked on refining moments of audience interactions with the characters and strategic sequencing of encounters with these characters as we prepared for another round of sharing!
2022 JUNE 22-28
It was a madhouse. Consecutive weeks of sharings and rehearsals! So much so that we hardly took any photos. We consolidated the sequences of fragments to share and refined the participation and sorted out technical requirements and clarified dramaturgical decisions and watched sharings by other groups and converged our many anchors to magical realism and repeated and repeated and repeated.
2022 JUNE 30
The interim presentation was a showcase of our work-in-progress where we tried fragments of our work with an audience. Being a participatory performance, the audience feedback was valuable in shaping our journey forward. We gained clarity about parts that worked and began to hone in further on them, and parts that needed to be reworked or let go of.
Midway through the process, we had a work-in-progress sharing where we trialed fragments of our work with an audience. Being a participatory performance, the audience feedback was valuable in shaping our journey forward. We gained clarity about parts that worked and began to hone in further on them, and parts that needed to be reworked or let go of.
2022 July 12
Hot seating of character
Back from a short holiday, we entered stage four of our process (rehearsal) and with new energies. Reflecting on the work in term 3, we identified what the piece would benefit from was having clear characters and determining the narratives they brought to the piece. We gave each other exercises to begin developing these characters.
2022 july 13
Hot seating of character 2
More hot seating (we loved them!) with the newly created characters and plotting our character arcs within the structure of the overall piece.
2022 july 14
We put the characters on their feet through structured improvisations to flesh out the characters’ lives outside of the tube, as well as what happened before they entered the tube.
2022 july 15
Station & Platform improvisation
Going back to our ‘Station’ and ‘Platform’ segments with more clarification on characters’ motives. It was refreshing to have the support of our Movement Director, Mari as the outside eye.
2022 JULY 18-August 1
There was not enough photographic evidence to prove that we were working hard. We refined our dramaturgical structure of station (introduction to participation), platform (introduction of characters), tube (narratives of the characters unfold through encounters in the tube and magical realism), crisis (an explosion of characters’ inner fears), breakout (audiences get more intimately involved with the characters in liminal spaces), reparative (between the characters and audiences), and finale (call for action and celebration). We worked and reworked the segments, interrogated the characters’ interactions and motives, refined our performances with Mari’s support. There were moments of great struggles as we pushed on to unify our vision for the piece.
2022 august 2-8
Tube improvisation 2
After plowing on with developing the rest of the piece, we revisited earlier sequences (station and platform) to refine the participatory moments and encounters with the characters, and then continued refining the later sequences (tube, crisis), while interrogating our logic within the piece. Major decisions were made to shift sequences around! We were tearing our hair out trying to find an ending to our piece.
2022 august 9
A break from rehearsals to shoot a trailer for our show! Phew.
2022 august 12
Testing the projector
This marked the fifth stage of our process: Full run. We finally get our hands on the necessary equipment to experiment with different theatrical languages by using screens and projections. Then we tried to stagger through the entire piece in preparation for a trial run with audiences.
2022 august 13
We had a full run to work through the flow of the piece. Full runs are important. Period.
2022 august 16
Trial audience run
It was a major milestone in our process, we invited a small audience to experience a full run of the show. Still a work-in-progress, the audience feedback we received helped shape the dramaturgy and gave important insights about consent, sensitivity and overstimulation.
2022 august 17-19
Physicality of characters with movement director Mari
We took time to reflect and fine tune our characters’ motives and themes they represented in the piece. With Mari, we continued developing the physicality of characters working on performative nuances within each segment.
2022 august 20-22
Try-out the transition
More work with Mari! As a collective who created and performed the piece without having the chance to view the piece with an outside eye, it was truly helpful to have a movement director to work with us. We also experimented with different technical setups, keeping in mind the space and equipment available at CPT. Sadly, a character was killed in the process. RIP Concha.
2022 august 24
Finalising the piece
More culling and refinement! We did a major revamp of our crisis/reparative segment and finale after gathering feedback and discussion on our dramaturgical flow.
2022 august 25
Final rehearsal at RCCSD
Our final rehearsal in Central! Getting tech and logistics ready for the show and reflecting on our journey!
2022 august 26-30
More full runs, more refining, more consolidation of tech and cues, more debrief, more feedback and more rest needed. It was our final sprint towards the finishing line, so, no rest for the wicked.
2022 august 31
2022 SEPTEMBER 1
Run-through, Final rehearsal.
Our final full and celebration of having both our shows fully sold out! A sigh of relief that we made it so far and not giving up.
2022 SEPTEMBER 3
TUNNEL VISION presented by The Others
We performed three shows (one preview and two ticketed shows) to a full house! We shared our sentiments from the performance in our last blog entry: ‘Tunnel Vision was a gift to us all. Within that final week of bringing the story to fruition, we realised just how personally invested we were. The fragments we explored were not conjured up from the depths of an academic text, nor were they fictive abstractions. The fragments were pieces of ourselves.
Sharing these pieces of ourselves was met with wide acclaim; we were taken aback by the warm, enthusiastic and genuinely compassionate reception. We managed to perform it three times – a preview, a matinee and an evening – all of which elicited varied, nuanced responses, especially in the intimacy of the breakout rooms. It’s fair to say that we all shared an exhale of deep relief when we made it through to the night – but also of bittersweet longing, echoing from the thought of touching more audiences with our story.’
Thank you for journeying with us.