|Place of Publication
|Red Stitch Actors Theatre Melbourne
|Published - 25 Jun 2007
Bibliographical noteMedium of Output: theatre performance
Brief details of Performance: This practice-as-research production set out to investigate Sarah Kane’s concept of ‘experiential’ theatre. As ‘experiential’ theatre stresses the power of the text in performance, rather than its written form, the research project took the form of directing a professional production of Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis. The focus of the research was to find a performance dramaturgy that could avoid a biographical, characterological or narratological approach yet still work ‘experientially.’
The main methodology employed was the use of the concept of ‘landscape theatre’ to develop an approach to composition that was ‘affective’ as well as semiotically rich. The theatre as landscape picks up on the theories expounded by Una Chaudhuri and Elinor Fuchs in Land/Scape/Theatre (2002) and the practice of Gertrude Stein, particularly the idea of the text as ‘lang-scape’.
The outcome was a five-week run of the production, seen by over 1,000 people. It produced a wide range of responses as evidenced by materials collected in questionnaires, critical reviews (print and radio) and a public forum after one of the performances. The critical responses, while varied, noted in general an attempt to avoid an ‘emotive’, character-based acting style and biographical approach. The actors stated the usefulness of the concept of landscape as offering a way to understand how, as a director, I was conceptualising the production, and it seemed to underpin a tight ensemble approach.