I’m going to try – and fail – to describe the Dramaworks workshop I was at for the last five days. Investigative Theatre, 35 hours in total, with Vladimir Shcherban, Associate Director of Belarus Free Theatre.
I knew very little about BFT before this. I had heard they’d done shows the government of Belarus didn’t like them doing, that some of their members had been arrested, and that they’d won several awards, including a Fringe First.
During those five days, I saw videos of two of BFT’s shows. (OH MY GOD, there aren’t words to describe how fantastic they are!). I acted out the days of the week, and got told “Good try” (after which I wrote in my notebook Don’t be hurt!). I sculpted my most horrible secret in plasticine (and everyone else got the feeling behind it), I took photos to show “Edmonton’s pain”, I filled my notebook with what Vlad said, and my own ideas for my solo show. He kept saying Бетон сітуацыя! – Concrete Situation! – that we each needed to get into what we wanted to show the audience, or else it would be dishonest. He talked about how it’s best and strongest to NOT talk, to find the object, the smell, the sound that would involve the audience – you’re not telling the audience anything, you are drawing them in. He said British theatre is wonderful…but they talk too much (!). The words are wonderful, but why do you have a body?
I came home every night to do my homework (lots), with my brain feeling like scrambled squid. And one thought in my scrambled brain…MORE, good enough isn’t good enough, MORE!
Rather than feeling inadequate and hopeless, I felt SMART, I felt yes, I’m right, I am still doing this!!
I also thought – and this is going to take a LOT of work – that I have to stop being afraid.
So yeah. It was farking amazing.