mind adventures

an experimental theatre company set up in sri lanka in 1999.

the experiment begins…

a few weeks ago, i contacted some actors i have been interested in working with and put the same proposition to them all, which went something along the lines of ‘come and do a show with me. there’s no story, playwright or script…but you’ll have fun.’

and we’re off…

this is going to be a learning experience for us all, and i am very excited. the technique i’m focusing on was developed by british playwright/film director mike leigh. his film ‘secrets and lies’ starring the wonderful brenda blethyn, had a huge impact on me and i’ve been meaning to challenge mind adventures with a production like this for some years now.

leigh’s process requires all the skills of a consummate ‘character actor’, an experienced performer who is not afraid to place him/herself in the director’s hands and willingly go on an uncharted journey.  it is an intimate, no-holds barred experiment focused on emotion and the dynamics of human relationships, no matter how bizarre the connections may seem.

the technique, in brief, goes something like this –

the director works with each actor one-on-one for weeks, possibly months. the actor does not know who else is in the cast, nor the plot. instead they build a solid character together, which is based on a real person, or with the chacteristics or motivations of several actual persons combined. by this point the director has a rough idea of what the story will be, and brings the actors together. the content of the play is then created entirely through the actors’ improvisations, with the director crafting the structure and plot.

that is how it should be done.

but its not the way we’ll be be doing it.

due to time constraints (this show will open at the galle lit fest in jan ’09), and also my own agenda, our creative process is adapted from the original in some ways but improvisation and characterization remain at the core.

what i hope to achieve is a commentary on contemporary sri lankan politics and society through the creation of characters based on a variety of public figures who impact on our lives through the diverse orbits of their chosen spheres in life.

bit of a mouthful, wot. but for the time being…nuff sed. i’ll be uploading pics and film clips from our rehearsals as they progress.

look for us at the galle lit fest, where we will also be showcasing the work of other local authors – most particularly the project my previous post deals with.

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1 Comment»

  Sanjana Hattotuwa wrote @

Tracy, looking forward to this.


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