I just came back from creating a play with intrepid theatre devisors Olivia Gilliatt, Brian Bock, Emma Zakes Green, Nick Benacerraf, Kate Fry, and Marina McClure. We were awarded a residency at Barn Arts Collective on Mount Desert Island in Maine, and we collaboratively wrote a piece about a sleepaway camp that could be entertaining for a young audience, or for adults.
The Barn Arts Collective gave us everything we needed to make a play that is funny and true to adults and also a fun experience for a middle-schooler's. We created immersive environments in the American Legion Hall out of low-cost things like crepe paper and fabric, experimented with lighting and sound, brought in a guitar, a ukulele and a glockenspiel and made an amazing adventure tale.
We were up there just as the leaves were turning into that glorious, infamous set of New England fall colours. You can probably tell that the environment is incredibly beautiful. What you can't see is how delicious lobster is – there's really no photograph that could do that justice.
Three of us (myself included) trained at NYU's Graduate Acting programme and our designers, director and one actor were trained at CalArts, so the whole environment was incredibly playful and full of life. One of the foundation stones of the NYU Grad programme, the Games Project, is designed to make creatives think out of the box and tell unexpected stories in unexpected ways.
Brian Bock and Emma Zakes Green play "dream twins." When they sleep, they always have exactly the same dream at the same time. It's pretty great that they found each other at sleepaway camp, otherwise they would just be having the same nightmares in different places.
Things we made, in no order:
3. a script
5. silly faces
I took these photos of campers as part of an initiation ritual during a scene that Emma and I created. Each of them had crossed a lake and made it... so far.
From left: Olivia Gilliatt, Nick Benacerraf, Marina McClure, Kate Fry, Brian Bock
We'll be developing it some more and bringing it to New York. Stay tuned for updates!