Project: Love and Information
Roles: Various unnamed and gender-less characters
Summary and Plot: For the completion of my DR1604 Ensemble Production module during level 1 of my degree I was required to create a production with an ensemble cast. For this we were given Caryl Churchill’s 2012 play Love and Information, originally performed at the Royal Court, by our director.
The play is described by Michael Billington one that contains ’57 scenes, runs 110 minutes and employs 16 actors to play more than 100 characters’. Each of the scenes is individual and unconnected to all of the others, with gender-less, nameless and description-less characters. For the purposes of the production we had to slightly abridge the play, meaning that some Churchill’s scenes were cut to give a shorter running time.
The Rehearsal Process: Over a period of four and a half months we rehearsed for 6 hours a week. In each rehearsal we worked with our director on a variety of team building and devising exercises, whereby we would create and recreate various scenes and transitions. This process of creating and recreating enabled us as a company to become more in-tune with one another and each others actions, this allowed us to react to changes in each others movements giving for a much more fluid performance. Throughout this process, members of the company would ‘try out’ different scenes and swap what characters they were portraying. As the characters are nameless and gender-less this allowed us to swap who played who until as a company we found the best matches in terms of chemistry.
Another important element of the rehearsal process was the creation of backgrounds for our nameless characters. This enabled us to create these characters in much more three-dimensional manner, whereby their actions and goals during their scenes would then have deeper meanings and reason.
Set, Costume and Props: Throughout the piece we wanted to create a a sense of transition and one scene/world bleeding and merging into another. Thus, we used items of set that were versatile and multi-use such as sofas, chairs and tables, these were all sourced from a prop store in Buckinghamshire of which it was my role to pick the items. During the performance these items, when not in use, we placed at the far end of the performance in a ‘living prop store’, where we also sat if we were not performing. This meant that any props or pieces of set, be it large or small could be quickly and easily transferred into the performance space during the transitions between scenes.
In this ‘living prop store’ at the end of the performance space, we also stored elements of our costumes that we would put on and remove before and after scenes, much in the manner that we organised the set and props; as it allowed for easier transitions. Our costumes all varied greatly as each our characters were different, therefore we each had a main symbolic piece of costume to represent individual characters, for example in one scene I was portraying a scientist so my piece of costume was my glasses. .
Awards and Achievements:
- Received an over grade A for my work on this production
Reviews and Responses:
‘Sophie, your work on this production has been excellent throughout the process. You’ve demonstrated an excellent level of commitment to both your production and acting roles’ – Ian Morgan, director at Love and Information
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