Monday, 20 July 2015

Dramaturgy by Night: Emily Adams @ Edfringe 2015

Collaborative Yanks bring theatrical family
fun to Edinburgh Fringe Festival


Mid-West America favourites GreenHouse Theatre Project are invading the UK! This dynamic company will perform their hugely popular original production C’tait la Nuit at Paradise in Augustines.

This Anglo/American company has had five years of success in Columbia Missouri and are thrilled to launch the start of its sister company in Stoke-On-Trent at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

C’tait la Nuit
Welcome to 1930s Paris, the city of love, wine and creative inspiration! Here we find Sebastian, a young man from the mountains of Tennessee, determined to be reunited with his mother and father and discover his true bohemian roots. 

But with tight lipped nuns, snooty maître d’s and mysterious book sellers, will he ever get the information he needs? Who is the illustrious singer La LadyBird he hears so much of? And what surprises await him in the famous cabaret, Moulin de la Galette? Join us as we venture with Sebastian in this coming of age tale about identity, family and most importantly, love.

The Fringe

What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?
Emily Adams: We actually started with a location. We really wanted to create a whimsical piece based in Paris. Co-artistic director Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri then took a trip to the Blue Mountains in Tennessee and on seeing its beauty, we decided to combine the two locations in our story.

Why bring your work to Edinburgh?
GreenHouse is based in the States and was co-founded by british Emily Adams and American Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri. In the summer of 2014, Emily moved back to the UK and is due to launch a sister company of GreenHouse in Stoke-On-Trent. Both artistic leaders though the fringe would be the perfect platform to launch this.

What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?
It's a beautiful, light hearted coming of age tale with plenty of vibrant characters and fun music so I hope they will feel energised, joyful and having laughed a lot!

The Dramaturgy Questions

How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work?
I think the way that Elizabeth and myself, (Emily) work is that we write the piece and have a vision for it and a style we are aiming for, but almost let the actors be the dramaturges. We allow them to shape the piece, make it fit, do away with bits that don't work on stage or words/lines that need adapting to fit the work once it is on its feet. We love the actors to play and have creative input and in that sense, we all become the dramaturge. Ownership of an ensemble piece is key to the fluidity of a production.

What particular traditions and influences would you acknowledge on your work - have any particular artists, or genres inspired you and do you see yourself within their tradition?
Elizabeth and myself are very influenced by very visual and physical theatre makers such as KneeHigh Theatre Company, Matthew Bourne, Propella Theatre Company, Punchdrunk and Jeune Lune to name a few. All of our performances back home in Missouri are site specific - Romeo and Juliet in an urban amphitheatre, Macbeth in a yoga studio, A Christmas Carol in an art gallery; and all the spaces are part of the performance - another character helping to tell the story. 

I'm launching a sister company in Stoke-on-Trent that will follow the same model, using local spaces as the back drop of performances. Companies like Dream Think Speak and Punchdrunk are definitely an inspiration for us in this.

Do you have a particular process of making that you could describe - where it begins, how you develop it, and whether there is any collaboration in the process?
At GreenHouse we love to collaborate. It is one of the key elements in our process. Elizabeth and myself will come up with construct and the play, but each performance has a different collaborator using their creative input. This could be in terms of space/venue but we have also had live DJs in our performances curating the music for the show, local artists and local produce makers; farm foods, yarn makers and Ariel silks artists to name a few!

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work?
I think live theatre does well to remember that it works purely down to the relationship you create with the audience. This doesn't mean they (the audience) have to like everything you do or say, but you do want it to make them feel something; joy, disgust, shock, peace - all of the huge range of human emotions. Without them there, engaging, your work doesn't have any meaning. You can write the most amazing script and hire fantastic performers, but if no one sees your work - or wants to come back, it's just a rehearsal. The audience make your piece come alive and that is a very important, but also at times, rather complicated relationship to foster.

Paradise in Augustines (Venue 152) 17th-22nd Aug @ 14:10 (50mins)

DIRECTED BY: Emily Adams and Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri

WRITTEN BY: Emily Adams and Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri

DESIGNED BY: Emily Adams, Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri and Rob Glauz


CAST: Emily Adams, Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri, Rob Glauz, Matt Ingram, Rhian Mclean, Ian Sobule
This enchanting family show with its poetic storytelling, beautiful imagery and colourful characters will be sure to entertain children and adults alike. A perfect ‘pick-me-up’ performance to ease into the afternoons of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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