We have settled in to our studio home away from Toi. It is the Mime Centrum within the massive castle in Kreuzberg, southwest Berlin. One tram, two U-Bahn stops and a little walk from our warm as apartment in Prenzlauer Berg. I'll show you a photo of the outside tomorrow. As well as, hopefully, some squatter camps we walk past on the way there! But for now, here is the awesome foyer:
And Transistor Collective walking up the stairwell to our Studio space, squatters occupied this castle for years until The Man threatened to knock the building down. Hence, the graffiti:
Here is us in a discussion circle:
And the view from our Studio, thats a skateboard ramp constructed in the courtyard of the castle, juxtapositions like this are what make Berlin kick-ass:
The past two days have been really energising. We are working as a company of seven actors (Ben, who joins us after a year traveling after being in Long Cloud Youth Theatre with Willem, us four Toi students as well as Florian and Runa from Ernst Busch), Thomas Press our sound designer and the directing team of Willem and Holly.
Yesterday we worked with game and improv in the morning. Mr. Hit, epic length Space Jump and Maui Matau. In the afternoon we shared images and short scenes from our research. It was interesting to see that there was a strong flavour to the Toi Whakaari offers: distinctly physical and abstracted.
In the afternoon a Laboratory Playground was constructed for us by Thomas, Holly and Willem. It looked like this:
This playground seeded our company with postdramatic thoughts that began to feed into today.
Todays session was full of Laban and Brecht. We are exploring the Chekhovian worlds through many methodologies leading up until Christmas. After the marathon of exploring each effort with simultaneous care and extremity, for Willem is making sure we don't lock down an effort as an emotion, we explored our characters' monologues from each state. After this we had ten minutes to make a scene in our play group, mine being Three Sisters, with Florian and Runa. We were to explore the following things: the distance between the actor and the character, the role of the storyteller in relation to the audience, a moment or idea from our play and the discoveries we had made from today's Laban work. Actually, at the time, Newtown, it didn't seem so daunting, but looking back the results were very fruitful considering the dramaturgical juggling act posed to us. We are getting closer to the treatment, or at least approach to the work we want to employ.
Here are some pics from the day:
I'm going to sleep. But your probably just waking up, Newtown. Crazy. I'll skype you soon.