21
Aug
11

Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival: day 2 adjudicator’s comments

Adjudicator’s Comments – Karen Crone

Day 2: Saturday August 20th

Session 1

Sometimes on Saturday morning things take a bit longer to get going. Mornings are difficult: we used to have a half hour call. It’s now an hour call. A company warm up is important.

BAR & GER

BATS Inc

  • Leave behind the outside world. We’re in the world of magic & illusion
  • Re pace and energy: sometimes we actually hit “driving”
  • Interesting choices…
  • Audiences have to tune into accents so what we have is pedestrian time v theatrical time. You can afford to take more time.
  • Re use of props unnecessarily: Interesting choice of the motorbike onstage. If you bring something on stage you must use it.
  • Re ends of lines: a very natural Australian way of speaking; the dropping of the energy at the ends of lines
  • Emotion, feeling & humanity is passed across this magical space
  • Actors are telling a story collectively

Death of an Anarchist

VI

  • Peta, who played the maniac, was amazing. That big voice!
  • Ensemble, consistency, focus, accents
  • Really strong, strong visual pics
  • If it weren’t for our playwrights writing the dialogue we’d have very little to say up here. Be absolutely exact with the words
  • Loved the idea of control and chaos
  • Use of unison (we all give together, we all look together) the power of unison (we love unison as human beings)
  • We need to be able to see the person’s face. Loved the idea (entry via side door) but they needed to step further in. It’s all about the storytelling
  • Balance. A lot of the action happened OP
  • Sight lines
  • Our auditorium almost reflects the stage
  • Re Prompt & OP: Alan Edwards’ influence. It can only ever be Prompt & OP (saves confusion). It’s base stuff but it’s important to me to pass it on
  • As an ensemble they worked really well together, they were very tight
  • Asides are hard (the journo). If we can’t hear it we can’t laugh
  • Farcical, OTT characters; build on the chaos and make it even more chaotic
  • Stage combat is like learning a dance. You have to learn it until it’s inside you. eg So! Where Is It? Importance of rehearsal (re-hearing) is so we can play. We are so comfortable, so strong that nothing can throw us.

THE ACTOR’S NIGHTMARE

Brown Paper Projects & BATS Inc

  • I love the title, love the idea of it!
  • Stakes not high enough. Really wanted to feel for George. We didn’t feel for him.
  • Always trying to get there and never quite being there.
  • Re energy: work from centre
  • be careful, especially “whispering”. We need to hear what’s being said.

Session 2

NEW YORK MINUTE

JPC Productions

  • Some lovely work by those 2 actors
  • Re stagecraft: remember, there is pedestrian time and theatre time
  • At times, you were getting too close to one another in profile. A little bit more of…well, there’s something when an actor looks out and we see them looking. eg Michael when talking about the deceased wife. Eyes averted but I actually wanted to see his pain.
  • Re long runs: you have to come to these lines the very first time. Pre-empt and audiences see that. And we don’t want to see that.
  • Re beats and changes of pace: we got into a bit of a rhythm. The game was an opportunity. Be Tony Barber! And then go back sometimes to being Harry.
  • Too close together too much of the time.
  • Re setting: angle the bed or put it long-ways
  • Re breathing: You learn it (a play) the same way as you learn a song. Find where you breathe and drive thru to the end of the line. Often the end of the line is what we need to hear.
  • Re dynamics: looked really, really smart
  • I loved the idea of the mirror. Was there another way to have done that? We knew it would happen. Slower or more stylised…

NOTHING

Noosa Arts Theatre

  • Great camaraderie between Frank and Michael. This has developed since Noosa (National Playwriting Competition)
  • Re details: Fiona announced that her beer is the “last soldier” but then there was more beer n the esky. Audiences notice these things.
  • Meegan’s character, Fiona, was a fantastic foil for the two men.
  • Re gags: Wait to get your gag. It’s about time. We are hearing it for the first time.
  • Re pace: pace is not going really, really fast; it’s sandwiching the cues, cues on top of each other.

Session 3

Talk about the two faces of drama!

ROULETTE

Hills Players

  • Incredibly confronting. Quite astounding. Jenny & Robert actually transported me. A very compelling performance by Robert. A strong connection between the two.
  • Actors have to make decisions. Robert made good decisions. When we internalise it, it draws us in and actually scares us.
  • Re set pieces and props: If it’s on the stage it’s got to be there for a reason
  • Re light and shade: sometimes it could have been lighter, which would have taken us deeper.

PUNCH

Golden Glove Productions

  • Surprised that there wasn’t more laughter. It’s very funny. Play with that opening image and see what you can find.
  • Fantastic bond between the two actors.
  • Accent work was great
  • Raise the stakes. The stakes need to get higher and higher. They needed to peak just a little bit each time.
  • Comedy comes in threes. Great comedy in Kate’s three attempts at busking and we really enjoyed the payoff. We loved the dance.

Session 4

I think we have to thank Sam. His energy is infectious!

VECTURA

Excalibur Theatre Company

  • I had the most fantastic time with VECTURA. When I read it, I couldn’t wait to see it and it didn’t disappoint.
  • Re the placement of everything on stage, direction & performance: fantastic work, Mark; you’re a champion.
  • What an ensemble! Good choices made by all of the actors. I just wanted a little bit more of the stutter (Michelle).
  • Shirley, I thought you were fantastic holding your own with those three
  • All of the elements came together. Fantastic.
  • When you do your response to boom tick a boom, I wanted to see your face.
  • Re stylised work: sometimes I don’t get into really highly stylised work but the attention to detail was key here. When I put on a show I start with broad strokes and build, build, build more and more…all of the elements come together.
  • The detail that you put into that work was just fantastic.

WELCOME HOME

Miranda’s Dressing Room

  • Two beautiful performers. Great story. We were all intrigued. It touched us because in each family closet there are secrets.
  • Different rhythms of Jenni’s character from the city and Sue’s character from the country but at times I wanted Sue to just smack Jenni! It needed a dynamic at times but that grew.
  • Stage directions are very important, the description of the set, you must at least read the stage directions. If the stage directions suggest that you shout, at least try it. It’s (the playwright’s) code.

It’s been a long day!  See you tomorrow!

Adjudicator, Karen Crone

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