Monday, 6 July 2015

Grim Dramaturgy: Steven Green @ Edfringe 2015

The Fringe
What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?
Our season of Grimm Tales comes from a desire to put together a season of work that complimented each other and allowed us to really have some fun with a season of work at the fringe rather than simply taking a selection of plays. It’s been fun and as a company I think we are pleased we took this route this year.

Why bring your work to Edinburgh?We can’t not now! Many a successful production has started it’s life at the Fringe for us over the last few years and as such we are somehow emotionally and perhaps even medically attached to both the city and the experience! 

We love the fringe, it is like nothing else on this earth, yes it has changed in recent years and not always for the better with the continual commercialisation of the fringe but those gripes aside, it is still an incredible experience for young actors and new companies and we like to be part of that experience. The gold fish bowl works for us! 

What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?
Tricky…we wouldn’t want to impose on them what we feel they will think, that’s for them but in terms of what they’ll see-they’ll see some mature work that hopefully challenges them a little and gives them a positive theatre experience they’ll take away from the fringe. Beyond that we can’t really say too much more, but we know it will be Grimm! 

The Dramaturgy Questions

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?
This year, although this is not always the way - we are devising all of our work from scratch, not something we are adverse to at all but it’s the first time we’ve taken a full season of new work to the fringe. This is both exciting and nerve-racking of course, but we are delighted to be using the fringe for what it is meant to be about-to experiment and present new work! 

Our process has been very collaborative, as is the nature of all of our work really, working with an ensemble ethos breeds such approaches in many ways of course and it does tend to be more fun that way too. We have our designers in the room while our team of directors and dramaturg’s are working with the cast in developing the piece, leading to what we hope will be a collaborative piece of work when we get into the space. Sometimes devising with large companies of actors can be challenging, but with the right balance of voices and practical work in the room we’ve been able to move all four shows along steadily throughout their individual rehearsal processes. It’s been challenging but it’s always been fun!

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work?
Steven Green: The audience is key to any theatre or live performance, without them there is no performance merely self-flagellation! In terms of our work, it does vary, we have developed a significant number of immersive works over the years, most notably at the fringe was Alice last year which did incredibly well as a late-night promenade experience. We’ve done similar shows in London also, but this year we are returning to a more traditional form of storytelling, although as is our want there is always a twist…some audience members may find themselves closer to the action than anticipated in some of our shows this year. 
Regardless, their interaction whether it be passive or active is integral to good theatre, we as theatre makers ignore them at our peril. 

Are there any questions that you feel I have missed out that would help me to understand how dramaturgy works for you?
Not really. Storytelling comes in many forms and often the form of the story dictates the way it is is best served in being told. Having the flexibility, as the fringe offers of experimenting in the way you tell your stories is a gift, and one regardless of the variable Edinburgh weather, the fringe never fails to deliver on. The freedom to play is liberating and the ability to be inspired by others works whilst doing so makes it a very special place indeed. 


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