What happen’s when you create theatre from the water wandering epic of Ulyssees with memory wandering residents of a residential care home?
You develop a wealth of secondary stories and time in Anne Bastings company brings them flooding out. Because this is what she did with the Penelope Project.
Anne, Mac Arthur Fellow, founder of TimeSlips and general genius about the place, primarily describes herself as a story teller. She’s grounded and rooted in story, in the telling and the making and in observing what it achieves. Whenever I spend time in her company I come away with some new thought or inspiration.
Sometimes it’s about the amazing work her husband Brad Lichtenstein is doing using film with his company 371 Productions articulating the less heard narratives. Take a look at Precious Lives or When Claude Got Shot
Which is always a reminder that it’s not just about making the work it’s also about who you choose as collaborators and how you get the story out.
Anne’s creation of books, film, talks and research publications alongside the productions themselves is a constant nudge to be mindful of the influential power of that aspect of making work.
But for me the best gems come out in conversation.
Currently there are two stand out thoughts. The first is that if you go to the hardest and darkest places, to the thing people want to avoid, to the difficult to address and emotionally conflicting and create there then if successful it flies the highest.
The second is an illustration of how that might work. So she talks of layering story onto reality, like placing one palm called story on top of the other which we call reality.
Try it. Try placing your palms together. There’s always a tiny warm gap. This is the place where change grows.
When story is layered on reality it creates this gap. We recognize reality is simply a story we tell ourselves. And we can tell different stories. Once that’s recognised we realise we can change embodied story, or behavior.
Its interesting to consider this and how neuro-science now thinks we produce reality and what story is for.
So this might be bringing the story of Ulysees into a Care home. Or in my case persuading people it’s a good idea to get up early and go and sing by water.
Or as I paraphrased it recently “from the gap made by layering imagination onto reality comes forth a future”
- Posted by Bea the Beautiful
- On 12th July 2017
- 0 Comments