Monthly Archives: April 2014

‘My Name is…’ Rehearsal week 2, Composer/Sound designer Arun Ghosh on creating the soundscape and music.

Arun discusses what inspires him to create music and sound for live theatre, how he became involved in ‘My Name is…’ and the challenges of scoring verbatim theatre.

‘My Name is…’ Rehearsal week 2, Assistant Director Diyan Zora: The Art of Storytelling

Rehearsal photos by Katherine Leedale

Week 2 of rehearsals for My Name is… has flown by. The art of storytelling has dominated the room. Our play is compiled from interviews with three people, Molly Campbell, her mother Louise, and her father Sajad. Each tells their story, describing events past and present and revealing the ‘truth’ behind the headlines.

How do the actors tell those stories? Do they relive them on stage, re-enacting a time gone by, or do they reference them as distant memories? There seems to be a whole spectrum of possibilities, which suits our rehearsal room perfectly. Philip’s process is all about uncovering the actor’s imagination. The extensive text and character work we did in the first week is being put to good use. Philip asks the actors to rehearse moments in the play with varying ‘points of concentration’. For example, there is a scene where a character’s objective is to tell the interviewer that they were ‘the victim’. The point of concentration might be the space around them, or the interviewer, or the weather… it can be anything, any given circumstance that might colour a situation.

Exploring all these backdrops changes the scene completely. It adds nuance and makes the scene more engaging, but most of all, it reveals just how many options the actors have. Watching so much spontaneity and play has made for an incredibly exciting rehearsal room, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Tickets for My Name is… are on sale now! Opens 30 April at Arcola Theatre: more here

Rehearsal photos by Katherine Leedale

‘My Name is…’ Rehearsal week 1: If the bee stings, be stung

TDA ‘My Name is…’ Assistant Director Diyan Zora shares her experiences from the rehearsal room

My Name is... rehearsal room Diyan's blog

My Name is… rehearsal room Karen Bartke and Umar Ahmed

I’ve never been stung by a bee, yet the analogy that keeps popping up in the first week of rehearsals for My Name is… makes perfect sense. The idea is, if you have an instinct when rehearsing a scene, you should follow it through.

Thankfully, our actors are completely open to following their instincts. Philips process is designed to free the actor, to give them the tools to respond in the moment and be totally open to where the scene takes them. That kind of freedom takes preparation; detailed character analysis, improvisation around objectives, exploring the physicality characters have, and much more.

It’s exhilarating to see that preparation unveil itself when the actors try a scene.  My Name is… tells the story of Ghazala, a 12 year old Scottish/Pakistani girl who flees to Pakistan with her father. Based on the real life story of Molly Campbell, and generated from interviews with Molly and her parents, the play explores the realities of these peoples lives, a reality seemingly absent from the majority of the press generated in 2006 when Molly left Scotland.
The play takes on some big issues; cultural identity, religion, racism and much more. However, at the heart of the story is a little girl caught up in a marital breakdown. Our rehearsal room is about finding this core, about stripping away our misconceptions and getting to the very root of these characters. It’s made for an incredibly exciting first week of rehearsals, full of discovery. When Friday drew to a close, and we realised just how far we had all come in five days, we had the urge to head down to the bar and toast an incredible week. If the bee stings…

Tickets for My Name is… are on sale now! Opens 30 April at Arcola Theatre: more here

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