Friday 31 July saw two performances of Lysistrata to packed houses at BREC: the culmination of our months of development and rehearsal.
In laughs alone, we were very well received. Well done everyone!
Moves have been made to accompany the amazing sounds created by our muso Rachelle. Grace, poise and dignity… it’s the Lysi way!
A serendipitous discovery of Sarah’s – it seems the Collie Art Gallery is currently exhibiting works by Australian artist, the late Arthur Boyd. In amongst these can be found etchings included in his Lysistrata series of 1970.
COLLIE ART GALLERY
Arthur Boyd – An Active Witness
17 July – 30 August
It’s official, tickets to Lysistrata are now on sale:
Meanwhile, behind the scenes…
A WOMEN’S WORKSHOP WAS HELD ON MAY 17, FOR THE PROPOSED PRODUCTION OF LYSISTRATA – WE’VE GATHERED TOGETHER A LITTLE PROFILE OF THE LADIES INVOLVED.
Name – Caris Hilder
Role – Lysistrata, a strong minded passionate young woman
Where I grew up – Grew up in Bunbury, found my love for acting in high school at Newton Moore.
Where I live now – Currently living in Bunbury where I do the odd house sitting gig. At the moment I’m house sitting for my best mate who is in Europe with her boyfriend. I look after her gorgeous dog, Kyrah (we share the same lunatic qualities!)
What I hope to get out of the Production – My last play (that wasn’t a musical) was in high school so I’m really enjoying learning my lines and my stage directions for Lysistrata. I hope to make some new friends from this production and expand my experience for more productions!
Something you may not know about me – I won 2014 South West Australian Pole Competition. As you can tell, I love performing!
Name – Nina Smith
Role – Kaloniki
Where I grew up – Harvey
Where I now live – A tiny collection of houses buried in the misty hills near Kirup.
What I hope to get out of the Production – The opportunity to exercise my already colourful vocabulary on stage. Yay! Also the opportunity to push my boundaries as a performer.
Name – Annie Horner
Role – Women’s Chorus
Where I grew up – Perth
Where I now live – Peppermint Grove Beach, Capel
What I hope to get out of the Production – A good laugh
Name – Sarah Neale
Role – Myrrhine
Where I grew up – In Manjimup
Where I now live – Dalyellup
What I hope to get out of the Production – To help develop my acting skills, meet some new people and have a bit of fun!
Name – Amanda
Role – I am in the Chorus
Where I grew up – I was born and bred in Bunbury and have recently returned here to work at ECU.
Where I would like to live – Near the beach 🙂
What I hope to get out of the Production – I want to get to know people and become part of the community here. I also like trying new things.
Name – Sarah Mills, AKA Smills
Role – Stratyllis – a wise, witchy woman
Where I grew up – Bunbury is my town of birth. From there I ventured to towns far and wide, went to a billion different schools and met a billion different kinds of people. I am blessed to have grown up in and around cultures unheard of in this small city, to have learned sacred ways of living and traditions that have enriched my cultural knowledge.
Where I now live – I am back in Bunbury but I would like to be in Scandinavia. It’s not just because of the androgyny, I like the landscapes and colourful skies in that place.
What I hope to get out of the Production – A gig on Home and Away. Don’t get me wrong, I hate that show, but les-be-honest, it’s a stepping stone to becoming Thor. Really, I hope to gain laughter, smiles and tears of joy from the audience. I want to take the essence of laughter, the images of smiles, and a sample of the tears, concoct a potion and smudge my house with it.
Name – Renee Kaczmarcka
Role – Lampito, the Spartan woman
Where I grew up – northeast Perth
Where I live now – Busselton… when not in a van on all manner of roads leading to and from.
What I hope to get out of the Production – umm… exposure of course (why did I say that in the interview?), a shared sense of fun, a broadening of my artistic horizons, and a less Spartan wardrobe.
Play time is over! This workshop was more structured. We are now getting into rehearsals, which is exciting. It was a bit strange not doing our open score section this week, but I’m glad to be moving forward.
I had a terrible dream one night not long ago, which I believe represented my anxiousness about the play, and making sure it is well rehearsed. In the dream, we all walked on stage to do Lysistrata without rehearsing once! As the play was written in gibberish, I had no idea what I was doing, and no idea what I was talking about. Alas, everyone stood up and walked out.
That was my dream. This structured workshop helped to ease my anxiousness and assured me we will all be fine and well rehearsed. I think Lysistrata will be more confident and sexier than ever.
Sunday’s workshop was the first one since we’ve gathered a full cast, and importantly, the first since we’ve gathered a full complement of men. It took a little longer to attract men to our project, but we couldn’t go on without them!
Jo Smith, mentor and supporter of regional dance from Ausdance WA, had some good advice, including seeking partners of women and mates of partners: check. Jo also suggested that hard facts go down well: use absolutes, deadlines, schedules, outcomes etc.
So I shouldn’t have been surprised that one of our new recruits wanted to know what our mission was, our objective, and who was running the show. This gave me an opportunity to remind myself that we’re a community group that has formed and come together for the purpose of making this show, Lysistrata. We include staff and students at Edith Cowan University (and partners of students!), as well as community members from Bunbury and beyond.
But also, we are building on a method that some of us have been practicing together since 2013. We use collaboration to build a sense of shared investment and intention. We also practice improvisation. Another brand new recruit was a little nonplussed that we spent a good chunk of time apparently mucking around.
‘We’re just playing, right? But you will be directing the play later?’
We’d call playing the ‘open score’ phase of the workshop, and we’d say that this is how we make the play. Practising improvisation develops a group dynamic that helps everyone make good creative choices. It also keeps us flexible and limber, metaphorically speaking, and so able to respond to changing and emerging circumstances.
There are sure to be plenty of those in the coming weeks.
A veritable swell of enthusiasm was evident during Lysistrata‘s third workshop; late arrivals would have been forgiven for fleeing in panic – why, Pan himself may have scampered in distress! As for members willing to stick it out, a generous show of manliness was displayed – even amongst the womanly – with an inaugural donning of the ‘priapic piece’ (let’s say, balloon), serving as ice-breaker for the inevitable.
It wasn’t an entirely phallic afternoon, my goodness no (perhaps this editor’s a tad pre-occupied); there was serious application to the rehearsal of poses, and belligerent tones from the script were exchanged with increasing gusto. A fun and adventurous crew await the curiosities Vahri has in store for the workshops ahead…
This post is part of the Sounds of Lysistrata project. For further posts on this project, please visit the dedicated blog site:
Being surrounded by a sonic cloud is a captivating experience. My sound recording of the open score improvised play at Rehearsal Two of Lysistrata was successful, but something was missing. I sought clarity and separation but found very little. If I stopped searching and simply listened, I could hear the sounds I wanted; but they were buried. I wondered how I could isolate the sounds, having such little expertise in sound-craft. I pushed away any thought of recapturing the sounds because I wanted to work with what I had. That was my challenge.
A shift in my thinking came after reading about Phillip Samartzis’ process in recording sounds for his project, Soft and Loud, 2001, which documents five Japanese locations through sound (Samartzis, 2007, p. 48). Samartzis describes how he recorded a “general overview that reflects the size and surface of the location”, but then recorded many individual sounds “to comprehensively reconstruct the environment with as much detail and clarity as possible” (p. 50). His story reflected mine: the size and surface of my space had been captured, and all that remained was to add the details.
The act of improvised play brought into the rehearsal space sounds that may not have otherwise existed. My recording allowed me to appreciate the sounds through re-listening. Douglas Kahn states: “Sound inhibits its own time and dissipates quickly. It is too brief and ephemeral to attract much attention . . .” (cited in Edwards, 2007, p. 70). Being able to capture and re-listen to the sonic cloud allowed me to place value on many of the individual sounds that make up the location. The next part of my process would focus on recording certain details as clearly and separately as possible.
Edwards, P. (2007). Audio CD production in a contemporary art practice. In L. Duxbury, E. M. Grierson & D. Waite (Eds.), Thinking through practice. Art as research in the Academy. (pp. 68-78). Melbourne, VIC: RMIT Publishing.
Samartzis, P. (2007). The space of sound. In L. Duxbury, E. M. Grierson & D. Waite (Eds.), Thinking through practice. Art as research in the Academy. (pp. 68-78). Melbourne, VIC: RMIT Publishing.
A second workshop for the Lysistrata project got under way with a gentle warm-up in the capable hands of Sholto, followed by some inventive poses to accompany our humble attempts at a few lines from the script. Then, of course… it was time to play!
The bonds are beginning to strengthen, with these once unfamiliar bodies gradually learning to work with one another – within each other’s space. We warmly welcome the addition of some adventurous new folk in our upcoming workshop; exciting times ahead!
Welcome to all the new faces! What a brilliant group we have. Very enthusiastic and vibrant.
After an introduction from Vahri, Sholto led us through some somatic warm ups, waking our bodies and leaving us loose and limber.
Following a short break we moved into the “open score”, a period of unstructured play time. Our play things included fabric and Ancient Greek inspired dress-ups, rubber balls, a variety of percussion instruments, balloons and art materials.
Some participants found unstructured time to be challenging, as we generally don’t allow ourselves time to just play, but the energy of the group was inspiring and people found themselves very quickly engaging, collaborating and improvising. Non-musical participants felt at ease picking up an instrument and non-drawing types found themselves experimenting with chalks and charcoal. This is the beauty of play.
The session concluded with a final chat which included time for reflection and comments, questions and answers, theme-appropriate jokes and lots of laughter.
Two weeks is too long to wait for our next session!
Thanks to Darren Tynan for these great photos.