With Tasmanian springtime arrived, I’ve jumped continents and write now from Washington DC, in readiness for day one of rehearsals at the Kennedy Center for the Arts. Where Words Once Were is a dystopian play for young audiences, developed in conversation with some great DC artists, as led by director Colin Hovde. Tomorrow we sit in a rehearsal room and watch it move from page to floor, as the creative ensemble brings it into tangible, three-dimensional being.
Also readying for the raising of October curtains are productions at Childsplay in Arizona, Chance Theatre in California, and Adelaide High School back across the seas. And since last posting, 25 seasons have come to be in four countries, including world premieres, an Australian national tour for Simon’s Final Sound, and a Griffin Independent life for Perth’s ‘Those Who Fall in Love… (the first WA show ever selected for the prestigious Sydney season).
Recently, thoughts have turned to the printed word, as amazing illustrator Andy Ellis (who created the artwork for this website) and I collaborate on the pairing of words and pictures. And brilliant photographer Andy Wilson and I do the same, with the release of his beautiful new book Coast Tasmania seeing it arrive on bookshelves at month’s end.
Meanwhile, book versions of existing plays are currently being imagined in wonderful chats with a great New York publisher. And in festivals and schools around the country, Terrapin Puppet Theatre’s new work You and Me and the Space Between is being brought to life by an orator and illustrator recruited in each city visited, the result being a picture book beautifully drawn before your eyes. It too may yet make a journey to book form.
Finally, I’m very honoured to have joined the board of The Story Island Project. Using creative storytelling to engage and connect, it draws on successful models (Dave Egger’s programmes in the US, the Sydney Story Factory etc), but in a manner best suited to Tasmanian young people and their communities. Two meetings in and I’m so inspired by the people at the table, the work done to date, and the vision for what lies ahead.
Wishing you well with your own reading, or writing, or performing, or viewing, and if you find yourself in one of the cities where a play is being presented, I hope you enjoy.