One of our performers physically exploring”shame” as her own suppressed characteristic
We’ve been wondering a lot about choices in relation to our new production. What stops people from making some choices, and keeps them doing others?
As we are investigating Lewis Carroll, we took a look at children’s books and their role in this subject. Children’s books show children a range of characters of the world, and as the child reads about their fate in the story and experiments with playing these characters - it starts choosing what characteristics to reject, and which to keep. I remember vividly an incident when I became very jealous at my fourth or fifth birthday when I didn’t win a chocolate treat in any of the games. I crawled under our armchair and refused to come out. The next day my mother bought me a children’s book. On one of the pages it said “When I feel jealous, I turn into a green monster” with a picture of a hideous beast.
Not the same picture, but nonetheless I found it amusing
I laughed, and understood straight away that I never ever wanted to be a green beast. Through drama school I realized that today jealousy is one of the most distant emotions to me. It is something I rejected and suppressed for years. And being aware of this, it made me interested in focusing on this emotion to grab it when it next arose. If not for more than simply noticing what it feels like - and isn’t that curiosity a big part of what makes theatre and television work? (not to mention the boom of shows taking the viewpoint of the killer - aren’t we curious?)
While the characters in children’s books represent all the options the child may choose to grow up to be - to adults it may showcase more external qualities, and a more clear vision of who they chose not to become. The adult has limited himself, and rejected some characteristics (of course! otherwise we wouldn’t function as well in our everyday lives). But isn’t it interesting every now and then to take a moment and look at the choices we make? From the smallest impulses to the biggest. As human beings we are capable of anything, so why are we who we are today and what do we want? And is it possible to play with this notion in a theatre piece? Whether it is in deciding who you want to follow as your protagonist, or whose side you want to take? How you would like the story to end? Whether you want to join forces with the actors, or stay hidden in your own journey of this world? And in the end, is it going to be logical, or just a fun experience into a world where more is allowed?