There are areas of knowledge that can only be accessed via experience. As an artist and as a part of who I am I needed to find a living form in which I could learn, create, test and pass on knowledge. This form had to have the capacity to deliver answers to very subtle questions. I am unsatisfied with the gallery as a place for art. On many levels, for my work, the gallery space is limited by its static space, its time delay and the indirect nature of its interactions with the world. It's suitable for many types of work but for me it lacked the dimensions necessary to pursue my questions. Like the scientists that build fantastic devises in which to test their theories of the physical universe, so the artist who is testing and exploring the inner universe must likewise have a suitable medium though which to divine its mysteries.
And so I have come to the theatre. But not just any theatre but rather an organism created by two strong artists who have an extraordinary grasp upon the nature of the artistic life as a vehicle of discovery and spiritual trial. Frank Theatre's co-founders Jacqui Carroll (Director) and John Nobbs (Actor, Trainer, Theorist) have invited me into the sanctum of their practice to interact with them and the organism they call Frank Theatre to synergize their work, bringing in a force to raise the ensembles cohesive power and imaginative capabilities.
The position of Design Dramaturge was named especially for me to recognise my function within the ensemble. The role of the dramaturge is one that has over time taken many forms and has recently been described as follows:
"A dramaturg’s role is exciting and multifaceted depending on the context and type of production process. The dramaturg works closely with the director and/or playwright, the company and sometimes the producer. S/he looks after the analysis and ideas of the production, making sure that the director’s, company’s or writer’s vision and production concept translate and communicate through design, light, sound and costume for that particular audience and venue. Dramaturgs are readers of texts and performances, sounding boards and an additional resource for all involved. The dramaturg is a collaborative role and can be seen as a critical collaborator." Dramaturgs' Network
However, as it is a collaborative role its functioning is not limited to this definition. The reason why my position is described as a Design Dramaturge is that I bring with me the skills of an artist/creator in my own right and as a maker of things. I have the physical capabilities to bring into being imaginative tools that aid the creative development process, and open the vision of the actors to the vision of the Director and the Trainer. So the nature of the design dramaturge is not the imposed will of the typical theatre designer dressing a play but rather of an experimenter in human psychic interactions developing means of capturing and eliciting a raised state of comprehension and inner vision through artistic tools and means.
I have yet to discuss what the questions are that I wish to pursue, but this will be the site for recording them, my work and the discoveries I make as a Design Dramaturge.
Images and Notes:
1. Ingwas, the runic symbol of the god Frayr from Norse Mythology and represents the sound "ing" in the runic alphabet. Frayr is described as being one of the three most important gods. He is the phallic fertility god bestowing "peace and pleasure on mortals". He rules the rain, the shining of the sun and the produce of the fields. (See the link above for more details.)
2. "Photomultiplier Tubes - More than 9,500 of them - on a geodesic sphere 18 metres in diameter act as the eyes of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. The tubes surround and monitor a 12-metre-diameter acrylic sphere that contains 1,000 tonnes of heavy water. Each tube can detect a single photo of light. The entire assembly is suspended in ordinary water. All the materials that make up the detector must be extraordinarily free of natural traces of radioactive elements to avoid overwhelming the tubes with false solar neutrino counts." This observatory is used to detect the by-product of solar nuclear fusion reactions called neutrinos, interestingly this 10 story high detector used to study an aspect of the sun is located two kilometres underground.
Source article: Solving the Solar Neutrino Problem, Arther B. McDonald, Joshua R. Klein and David L. Wark, Scientific American: Special Edition, Volume 15, Number 3
3. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth wanga bottles and pwen beads, based on the mutual research by Jacqui Carrol and I into the religious practices and theology of voodoo for the current work in progress "Voodoo Macbeth."
Voodoo wanga bottles are made via a ritual called a travail (or labour) where in supernatural forces or spirits are enclosed/bound in the bottle sometimes to prevent the soul being used in sorcery other times to be used in spells.
Pwen (or Points) beads are worn on the body or draped around objects for protection from evil spells.
Source: Voodoo: Truth and Fantasy, Laennec Hurbon, New Horizons, Thames and Hudson, London, 1995