Friday, 18 March 2016

No Dramaturgy III: Laura Rosemary Murphy, Terry O’Connor, Moe Shoji and Bridie Moore @ Buzzcut

Laura Rosemary Murphy, Terry O’Connor, Moe Shoji and Bridie Moore
Each performer has answered 3 questions each...
Can you tell me a little bit about the work that you are bringing to Buzzcut?
No Performance III is a text-based triptych featuring, and bringing together, three women who have a collection of both contrasting and overlapping life experiences. Much of the work is grounded in the personal experiences of the performers, thus considering the many variations of the ‘woman’ within society, and how we ourselves and our experiences are shaped by language.

What is it about Buzzcut that attracted you to perform as part of it?
Because it is an amazing, artist-led, smorgasbord of live art and performance, which embraces experimentation, queer-ness, inclusivity and difference. We want to both contribute to and be in dialogue with this!

Do you see your work within any tradition - and are there any artists (performance and beyond) whom you regard as a peer or an influence?
We inevitably draw upon the work of Forced Entertainment (Terry O’Connor is directing the work), but are also very much influenced by performance artists, who utilize a text-movement synergy, such as: Liz Aggiss, Bobby Baker, Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion.

Are there any strategies which you used to direct the audience experience towards this?
We made our responses, meditation and questions intentionally open. It is an invitation for the audience to explore their own responses. It will be a work-in-progress when it is shown at BUZZCUT, but perhaps it is indeed a right state for this work anyway - to be left open for possibility of further continuation and development.

What is it about performance that enticed you - and kept you making it?
It is its playfulness, its power to question and its potential to create a 'present' moment. While we are all researchers and practitioners, our relationships with performance and individual practices may be very different - personally, I am always fascinated by what performance is capable of and that is what keeps me engaged with performance.

Are there any questions you feel that I ought to ask to understand how dramaturgy works for you?
What does a word 'No' mean to you? When is it difficult to say 'No', and why? These are some of the first questions we asked ourselves as a starting point, which themselves tell something about this work.

How 'typical' is this work compared to other pieces that you have made? Did the process follow a familiar or new pattern?
This is the first time that we have made work together.What has been enjoyable has been to bring the individual responses to the provocation 'no' and to witness the way that Terry has helped us to weave them into a interlacing whole.  The three figures in the piece stage an intersection of femininity with sexuality, race and age. 

 The response of each woman on stage to the word 'no' carries a mark of their specific identity position yet Terry has directed us in a way that foregrounds our individual responses and at the same time shows a sense of playful companionship and competitiveness between us. I think this allows the sense of commonality between the three positions to be recognised.

Buzzcut is concerned with the idea of 'community'. Does community have a special meaning for you, and what relationship do you feel your work has within wider communities?
I have always found my deepest sense of community while making performance of one sort or another.  For me it's quazi religious.  Theatre making is a reason to exist and a way of  communicating with a community, both through the process of making and through the act of performing to, or with, an audience.

What are you hoping that the audience will experience?
The statements of all three women in this piece call for a corresponding recognition in the audience. We hope that the audience will recognise their own response in that of the performer that they will meditate therefore on the word 'no' and ask why the comments of the performers lead from that provocation.

'No' is a politically provocative word of course and we have all felt like saying and have said the word many, many times in our lives.  But what are we compelled to say 'no' to? And why? These are the questions that we would like the audience to think about.

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