Thursday, 2 July 2015

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Dramaturgy: Rebecca Crookshank @ Edinfringe 2015

The FringeWhat inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?
My own experiences and ideas about my military adventure and having to prove to yet another seven year old student that I really was an Airwoman!

He actually asked me to show him a picture from my website. Also I was told to leave a casting for the Territorial Army advert as I told them I was the real deal and they didn’t believe me. All the above is FACT.

Why bring your work to Edinburgh?It’s the HQ of new work, curiosity, development and audiences from all over the world. I have been inspired by other peoples work up there as an audience member. This is my debut as a writer performer and on the fringe. 

I’m also half Scottish, my ancestors were ‘show folk’ bringing the first travelling cinemas and fairgrounds to Glasgow and Edinburgh - hopefully they’ll be floating about!

What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?
It’s a true story so they’ll know a lot about me by the end. I hope they connect to their own experiences of growing up, empowerment and being more penguin! WTF shares a journey in a military world from a female perspective, it challenges the female military stereotype and celebrates the camaraderie and humour I sometimes miss from my RAF adventures. 

There will be a bit of swearing, 1990s nostalgia, sequins, weapons and penguins, obviously.

The Dramaturgy Questions

How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work?
Without it, this show would be about four hours long. The show has re-birthed so many times and that’s what’s so surprising and curious about this process. 

Working with director and dramaturg Jessica Beck, I was constantly supported but also challenged to keep peeling away the layers to find the core of the piece. Yes it’s autobiographical but you need that dramaturgical outside eye to keep tuning into the momentum, the theatricality of the piece. 

There are 9 characters, a lot of voices from my head to page then the stage, with my military disciplined training I found this process frustrating at times. Jessica did well to keep me from wrestling with myself, I found watching Tornado F3s taking off on YouTube quite soothing.

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?
Watching Charlotte Josephine in her show Bitch Boxer was a turning point for me. I loved her energy and style. I grew up watching back to back episodes of French and Saunders, Victoria Wood with my Mum. Dressing up, doing impressions of folk continues to be my favourite pastime. 

I think the military humour was ingrained from the start, my Dad was a Royal Marine so there was always a lot of laughing in the most inappropriate situations. My late Grandma who was Irish had one leg and was actually called Eileen and together she and I would giggle about that.

 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 is my debut show as a writer performer so the top tips for my next project would be to trust that it will all reveal itself in time. I think I struggle with having such a disciplined background, which at times is useful but when making art it’s very present and I am learning how to embrace this, I think it’s reflected in my work. 

The WTF team are integral, every single person has helped to shape, influence and inspire the writing. I had a dress made by designer Anne-Sophie Cochevelou, initially for the image of the show but it ended up inspiring a whole character and being integrated into the piece. Jessica and I had a proper eureka moment and it’s moments like that when you are sharing the journey with a great team that I cherish.

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work?
Without an audience there would be no show. They are part of the WTF world. I connect with the audience directly from the outset, which gives so much permission for playfulness, reactions in the moment and development of the story. Without sharing the early stages of the material in front of an audience the script could not have moved forward in the way that it has. I should probably get them some packs of penguins to say thank you or something.

 Are there any questions that you feel I have missed out that would help me to understand how dramaturgy works for you?
Has McVities ever sponsored theatre? I’m going to find out and ppppp pick up a penguin.

No comments :

Post a Comment