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Gestus part 1

Rooted in Chinese Opera, Geste is a dramatic tool, utilising gesture to convey character rather than psychological acting techniques.

refinerytheatre

In it’s simplest form Brecht used the term Gestus to refer to a strong image, a tableau vivant, that could ecapsulate a scene without words. He also used a similar term, Geste, to refer to the simple strong physical gestures that could be used by an actor to convey or embody a character without having to inhabit the internal reality of a character as an actor following, for example, Stanislavsky’s teachings. Both of these ideas can be discussed under the banner “The Gestus”

So what does this mean for our production of Outbreak? Theory’s all very well but without practical applications it becomes, by turns, the terrifying and tedious contents of textbooks. Well, one way that the Gestus has proved invaluable for us has been as a way of displaying the power relationships between without having to tell the audience everything. Our set is very simple; black, plywood platforms set…

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Scripts by Audrey Baldwin

It is Saturday. I have an appointment at 2.20pm. I don’t know what for.

All I know is this: performance art.

Arrive early at the Art Space and wander for 10 minutes or so.

Appointment in the booth, but booth is occupied.

Two voices. One female. The other male.

2.25pm. Audrey, who I am meeting, pops out, as does the unknown male.

They say goodbye. He leaves. I enter.

My session, appointment, show, whatever…begins.

We talk – I know Audrey from the past.

The past: Christchurch.

Right hand lies open. Fingernails ready to be painted.

Covered in red nail polish. Red like blood. Dark dark dark red.

A table laid out with assorted items. Pick up to 5, she says.

Boost, googly eyes, charcoal, rope. Why?

I don’t know.

She strips. Turns her back towards me.

Her ass is covered in eyes.

Eyes (mine) watching her ass. Her eyes (ass) watch me.

Stare at the ass and the ass stares back at you.

I draw her.

Tick tock…boost fizzes, counting down like an hourglass.

We speak of our art briefly as this goes on.

We both wish for audiences to be less passive.

More… involved.

More… engaged.

More… culpable.

Artaud is mentioned.

Maybe a cinema or theatre of…

Desire.

She hands me the script.

A prescription, perhaps.

A script to live by, perhaps.

A gift, perhaps.

The show is over. Life goes on.

Nathan's script

Sunday Roast

(based on Thomas Sainsbury’s play ‘Sunday Roast’)

A family of fools fight
Together, play together.
Working hard or
Hardly working.
This is the game they
Have practised and perfected for
When the hangman comes.

Enter the boy
Who longs for things far gone,
Doesn’t know how far gone
Those things have gone.
He is the center of this piece,
The surrogate some might say.

So the family plans
For a family feast.
A family feast for their favourite meat.
A succulent meat.
And succulent meat is
Not to waste.
Not to run away when
You want a taste.

but I am not someone who likes to wound…

but I am not someone who likes to wound
rather I have a quiet mind

–Sappho (translated by Anne Carson)

The Lydia Davis Project

Lydia Davis Stories

During my vacation with my family in Hong Kong I stumbled across an amazing bookstore known as Kubrick Bookstore, located in Yau Ma Tei. It wasn’t particularly huge but the selection was impressive and incredibly engrossing. They had a surprising amount of English books and the selection was up my alley (tons of plays, philosophy and contemporary fiction).

During my scoping out of the place I stumbled across The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis who I had heard about here and there and seen elsewhere. You see, Lydia Davis’ writing belongs to a literary style known as flash fiction. That is, short stories with an emphasis on short. There is apparently no specific length to determine flash fiction by, but generally no more than 1000 seems to be the rule of thumb.

So I ended up purchasing the book (because I have no willpower once something catches my eye), read some of it on the flight back, but haven’t picked it up since.

This morning, however, I started re-reading it from the beginning. I’ve decided a good way to pace myself with the book is to do a short story a day and turn it into a project in which I will write a response to each story in verse. And so there we have it: The Lydia Davis Project begins.