Sunday, 15 November 2009

project proposal

I have put a proposal in to the Newstages 2010 Committee.

Newstages 2010 is a festival that takes place at the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds. This is where i am a part time MA Student studying 'Writing for Performance and Publication' in my second (and final) year. Last year one of my pieces of work 'Antithesis' was in the Newstages 2009 festival, details of which can be found here
'Antithesis' had been put together and had already been performed as part of the Midget Gems tour in September/October 2008 so it was all ready to go when it came to Newstages. All we needed to do was have a few rehearsals and adjust to the new space and the performance was back up to speed. The Committee enthusiastically accepted my proposal last year and it was great to have an opportunity to show this work.
This year it's different. I had hoped that over the summer period in between year one and this year that i'd have time to get started on another project, but when summer came i really needed a break I had experienced considerable ill health and needed to recover so i decided to conserve my energy. I am feeling well again and i can see that this was the right thing to do but now i'm in the position where i'm making a proposal to the Committee but the work is yet to be written let alone rehearsed.
It has taken me a couple of months to get back into my stride and my creative energy has been taken up writing prose necessary for one of my MA modules. I have had an anxious six weeks where i have been completely drawing a blank with my script work. Although my short story writing has been going well i have been spending a lot of time staring at a blank page/computer screen when i have tried to write theatre. 
Thankfully a visit from Emma Adams who is currently working with Red Ladder Theatre Company has helped to reinvigorate me. When Emma spoke about her own work in one of our classes I realised what was frustrating me about mine. In a future post i will go into more detail about this but in a nutshell she advised me to identify the essence of the story i was telling and to pin down what excited me the most about the stories i wanted to tell. 
Another serendipitous occurrence is that a play i put forward for the students' script reading group, 'Interview' by Jean Claude Van Itallie has been selected to study. So i have been re-emersed in the theatrical landscape/vocabulary of Jean Claude Van Itallie, one of the playwrights who most inspired me as an undergraduate.
The culmination of all this is that i have reconnected with what i want to achieve theatrically and with a renewed enthusiasm and confidence the framework for a project has come together in my imagination. I have decided i want to write a trilogy of short plays that tackle various issues in british culture/society and our denial of these issues, 'The Elephant in the Room Trilogy'.

And so, i have made my proposal to the Committee. And their response to my proposal was to request a full script due in the first week of December. There's no way i can provide a script for then. I have to compile a 5000 word portfolio for my MA course and have to prioritise this until December 10th. The earliest i can have a script ready (and a draft script at that) will be early January. I have communicated this to the Committee and await their reply...

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