EarCandy

EarThe latest project from the group, EarCandy is an audio drama project from a web-platform.
You can listen to all the plays and watch interviews with the writers at the Earcandy website

EarCandy is a audio drama project created by the Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s Writing for Performance Group featuring 12 short plays recorded in Aberystwyth Arts Centre and in locations around Aberystwyth.

The plays are available from a web-platform and the project also includes social media interfaces of additional material including interviews with the writers and interviews with characters from the plays.

The 12 plays written by 13 writers, include over 50 characters played by the 15 performers.

Cursed by Sandra Bendelow, Lost by Branwen Davies, The Planning Stage by Matt Christmas, Blood in Brecon by Christopher T. Harris, The Constant Hunger of the Troll Under the Bridge by Catrin Fflur Huws, The Extension by Carmel George, Surge by Tracey Goddard and Julie Grady Thomas, Burn The Rich by Tony Jones,  My Mother Told me by Rachel McAdam, Duck by Debbie Moon, Starlings by Sarah Taylor, Rules are Rules by Dean Scott.

Follow the project www.facebook.com/earcandyaudiodrama or @earcandy_plays

Deadlines and Schedule

So as the first deadline looms at us TUESDAY 13TH MARCH – when drafts of all scripts need to be completed. This isn’t the final deadline but this is the point when we need to know what is to be included, how many characters in each, what is the play about so that we can start to stitch it together.

Scripts can change, in fact they can change and will change all the way though to performance night. But we need get drafts completed by the 13th March.

The other deadlines and rehearsals dates are as follows.

Tuesday 20th March (The Chapel)  – workshop the completed piece with actors. The piece will still be changing and this will be the testing session, rewrites will still be needed, and maybe new pieces will need to be included.

Tuesday 3rd April (Round Studio) – first rehearsal
Tuesday 10th April (Round Studio) – rehearsal
Tuesday 17th April (Great Hall) – rehearsal
Wednesday 18th April (Great Hall) rehearsal
Thursday 19th April – Rehearsed Readings performance night

As writers it’s important to be at the first few rehearsals when changes may need to be made however once it gets closer to the performance date there is no need for you to be there but you are welcome to go and I would encourage you to as much as you possibly can.

Hacking Coughs and Structures

Hamlet Mind Map

Mind Map of Hamlet

The January meeting of the Writing for Performance was a smaller group than usual thanks to the hacking cough and head cold germ that seems to be virulent through Aberystwyth and indeed Wales.

It was our first meeting in our new location as we’ve now been re-assigned to meet in the Round Studio. Meeting in the space that is our performance space is brilliant. It means that the sense of space, so vital to writing for performance, looms about us as we speak. Ideas that we discuss immediately have a physicality. I can see that as people talk about their ideas they look about the space, they’re visualising the piece moving as theatre.

A few months ago we began to look at structures. Beginnings was all short plays, which can exist with a  flimsier structure. A brilliant short play will have as strict an adherence to structure as a full length play but it’s possible that the shorter piece can be held together by an idea, or a story, or simply a striking change within a character.

But the next step for the writing group is to think bigger which means thinking about 1 act plays or even full length plays if they’re feeling daring enough. A few of the group have already taken the leap into the longer plays but most have only worked on the short plays of Beginnings.

Town with No Traffic Wardens became not just the next project but the next writing exercise. Somewhere in the next few  months we have to take approximately 10 short plays and stitch them together to create a full length play.

As a teaser and a way to get the group to think about structure in plays I set the group the following exercise

Pick a play (list of plays below but any will do -though ideally one you haven’t read before),

Attempts on her Life by Martin Crimp
4.48 Psychosis or Crave by Sarah Kane
Peeling or Henhouse by Kaite O’Reilly
Spring Awakening by Wedekind
Top Girls, Far Away, A Number by Caryl Churchill
Betrayal by Harol Pinter
The Norman Conquest or House and Garden by Alan Ayckbourn
An Experiment with an Air Pump by Shelagh Stephenson
Happy Days, Ohio impromptu, Rockaby, Not I, Foot Falls or Act Without Words 1 by Samuel Beckett
Oleanna, Edmond or Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet
Hamletmachine by Heiner Muller
Hamlet by Shakespeare
Oedipus by Sophocles

Do a 5 minute presentation/talk that includes

  • a brief precis of the play
  • a summary of how the writer has structured the play
  • Select a few pages for the group to look at that shows examples of structure, devices or style that you think are worth highlighting.
  • What else do you notice about structure? How are the scenes structured? Is there anything about the characters, themes, motifs of the plays that is reflected in  the structure?

The above image is a mind map that one of the group did of Hamlet. Also discussed; Kaite O’Reilly’s Peeling, Sarah Kane’s Blasted, Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls and Timberlake Wertenbaker Our Country’s Good. More about the chosen plays soon.