In just under three months we will begin rehearsals for this big, beautiful play. I can’t wait! A lot has changed over the last few weeks, including the title of the production. The Lamellar Project was the name given to the project when we co-produced it with Pursued By A Bear in the UK in the spring and summer of 2016. You can read a review of it HERE. This production was directed by Helena Bell with design by Cecile Tremolieres and Chris Drohan.
Fast forward 6 months and we are now in pre- production for our US version, for which we received a prestigious Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Project Grant. A production that will be directed by David O’Connor, designed by Jorge Cousineau, and is now called Perfect Blue.
It feels important to give this production a new name. Whilst we are working with the same (or similar) script by Grant Watson, this production is being created with a US audience in mind, with a new creative team, and we did not want to replicate something that had already been made. Instead we wanted to continue our exploration into how international collaboration between two small scale theatre companies looks and works. How can we apply technological discoveries made in the UK to this production? What issues can we resolve, make simpler, more effective, by re-visiting this project with a new creative team? How can the project continue to evolve and grow?
And then of course there are the challenges: How do we work with a playwright when he is an ocean away? How do we conduct production meetings when we are not all in the same room? And most importantly, how do we switch the perspective of the characters on stage? In the UK, my character Carys, was projected in live from the US into the UK theatre space. This time, the character of MIchael, my stage husband, will be projected in from the UK into our US venue at Christ Church Neighborhood House.
The switch is more complicated than it seems. We are discovering through several script development workshops that the character on stage, creates a more sympathetic relationship with the audience. That the character on screen can dominate by sheer force of the eye being drawn to a screen, rather than real life (something we can all relate to).
This is a fascinating process and discoveries are made weekly. Working with film maker Ben Kalina of Mangrove Media, we will be documenting the process of making this project and updates will be posted here and on our social media pages which you can find Here (Facebook) and HERE (twitter).