5th March 2019
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Do people still write existential plays and what defines them anyway? We will examine texts from works deemed existential and explore their meaning and how to stage them. We will look at texts from Sartre and Beckett through to contemporary writers like Martin McCormick and Stef Smith. Is it a canon of work still relevant? Is it absurd? As well as looking at existing texts we will try to initiate and devise some work ourselves. The workshop will include analysis of these texts a group and practical exercises in staging them from the point of view of a director, performer and writer/ dramaturg.
As well as exploring and learning about a range of existential works, participants will leave the room more enlightened about what is possible in making contemporary theatre and how existentialism can inform how a piece of theatre can be made.
Andy Arnold has been making theatre in Scotland since the early 1980s. He was Founder and Artistic Director of The Arches from 1991 to 2008 and, since then, has been Artistic Director of Tron Theatre, Glasgow. He has always been fascinated by existential and absurdist work throughout his career. His last two productions – Ma, Pa, and the Little Mouths by Martin McCormick, and Ballyturk by Enda Walsh – are examples of explorations in this genre and he has directed many works by Samuel Beckett. In 2012 he commissioned and directed the world premiere stage adaptation of James Joyce’s Ulysses – which toured from Scotland to Ireland, and to four cities in China.