Bedside Theatre – a New Genre?

Bedside Theatre - Gilbert AZ

Yesterday, Lauren and I came together for a rehearsal at the house where I am staying whilst in Phoenix. My hostess, Micha Espinosa, has her mother staying with her, and Mary-Lou is not very well at the moment. So we asked if she would like to see our performance, a special showing in her bedroom. As it happens, her daughter-in-law Barbara, who is visiting at the moment, is also not very well, so we had an audience of two.

Thus a new genre is born – Bedside Theatre!  Our production works fine in these conditions, as we don’t require any props or settings. We work with what we find at the performance site, so every performance is site-specific.

Professional photographer Sandy Ritson is also staying at the house at the moment, and he dropped in to snap away as we performed.

I find myself consistently typing “Bedsite Theatre” instead of “Bedside Theatre”. Perhaps my fingers are trying to tell me something? I’ve be very interested to know what you think. Bedside is exactly what it is, but BedSite has a ring to it too.
Or maybe it’s just too confusing, to clever by half.
Leave a comment. Maybe I’ll set up a poll.
And don’t forget to enter our competition for 2 free tickets. They are free to the winners, but not, sadly to us. Phoenix Fringe Festival charges us $5 for every comp we give away.
Oh, another thought. If you live in, or near Phoenix, and you know somebody who is bedridden, but would like to see our production, get in touch and we’ll see what we can do. And if you would like to support such a performance by helping to cover our transport costs involved in taking the show to somebody’s bedside/site, we’d love to hear from you too.

Theatre Rehearsals resume, in real time

Yesterday we had our first rehearsal, together at last in real time, and in real space.

It’s hard to quantify the difference, but I’ll try. We no longer need to rush back to the computer screen when we feel the need to make a strong point to each other, or just remember that the other person can’t see us if we move too far away from the webcam. We don’t have to stop and restart Skype every time the sound or vision goes down.  We don’t have a constant whistle in the background!

Lauren and Angela

Most significant of all, is the sense of the unique human presence in the room, and the particular energy emanating from that individual presence. It has an effect, physically, on the performers – and I suspect the director also – that is just not there when working online.  This is a challenge for the emerging medium of live, online performance, if it is also to be developed and rehearsed online.  It has something to do with the very essence of live theatre.

Of course, it’s possible to compare online performance with film and tv. But in those cases, the performers were present in real time and space when they were filmed. To create performance from scratch, with only the possibility of working online is a whole new ball game, and I look forward to seeing how it evolves – preferably from the inside!


Thunder’s Mouth Theatre arrives in Phoenix

Here I am at last, in Phoenix, Arizona, resting up from the journey from Brisbane in preparation for rehearsals for our independent, professional production: The Fall of June Bloom (or What You Will) – Dame June Bloom on tour!

Sunset, looking east.

Last night I was invited to a family reunion (the family of Micha Espinosa, my friend and colleague, and hostess here in Phoenix) at Scottsdale, just outside of Phoenix. We were treated to much warm hospitality, great food, wine and a fantastic sunset over the desert.

Today Micha took me to ASU to see the studio where we will be rehearsing in a couple of days time.  We begin working together on Wednesday, when Angela Giron (our local director), local actor Lauren Dykes and I will finally get to meet each other in person, and discover what it is like to work in the same room. Skype has been a great way to connect up online, but nothing beats actual physical presence to really get the sparks flying.

This is the first touring production for Thunder’s Mouth Theatre, and we are honoured to be included in the Phoenix Fringe Festival.

It looks like a terrific program, you will find the full schedule at the Phoenix Fringe website. And Micha tells me there is a lot more theatre going on in Phoenix than the Fringe over the next couple of weeks, and a lot of it is free.

I’m looking forward to meeting up with a whole lot of Phoenix theatre-makers while I am here.

Turn around. Yes, this was the other side of the sky.