RLT has been in rehearsal mode for quite some time. Since closing our wonderful run of "The Lion & The Clown" in September, we have been alternating months with work on the brand new "Queen Margaret Project" (watch a rehearsal update here) and our new version of "The Lion & The Clown" (watch us develop our first tour here), as well as putting up two House Plays. The monthly change of gears has been very useful in keeping us on our toes. Our work feels new, born over and over again, knowing that soon we will throw ourselves right back into a familiar and yet completely different world, like revisiting an old dream.
In our exploration of these two alternating worlds, the most useful thing we can do for each other is watch the work. Some of us play the scene, while the rest of us "play" the audience.
I came across this piece by Sarah Frankcom, Artistic Director of Manchester's Royal Exchange. Going beyond the idea of the audience as a scene partner, she calls on the audience as collaborator, informing not only the actors but the production as a whole. She believes that the audience has partial ownership of the performance, which is hard to contest, as it is, and should always be, for them.
In a list of memories of differing audience reactions to a production of As You Like It at the Exchange, Frankcom remembers "the group of young people visiting the Exchange for the first time, who agreed with their youth leader that if they weren’t enjoying As You Like It, they could leave at the interval. At the end of the second half, they asked me if the same show would be on tomorrow. When I said yes, one of them said very seriously: “Yes but it won’t be the same will it? Because we won’t be there.”
I hope that you will join us, collaborators, at our performances of The Lion & The Clown (August 1st, Gateway City Arts) and The Queen Margaret Project Staged Reading (September 25-27, also at Gateway City Arts). It will not be the same without you. Stay tuned for info on how to buy tickets.
Here is a link to the full article:
Until next time,