We arrive at the Institut Del Teatro de Barcelona at 2pm. Anna Estrada, the director of the school, sets us up in a room and we start to go. We are a group of six today–
Me, Jenn and Martin from Working Group.
Anna- who on tp of being director of the school is also Artistic Director of La Pell
Noah Drew- award winning sound designer from Vancouver, representing Jump Current
Meagan O’shea- Award winning choreographer from Toronto
Missing were Shawn Johnson from Working Group and Catalina of La Barracuda Carmela (a theater company in Barcelona)
I forget, because I don’t do it enough, really, what it is to get in the room with strangers. We are moving, taking up space, rolling on the floor, touching (all that “actor” shit), sweating… it’s crash course ensemble building. We make noise.
We exercise (or exorcise) rants letting our vocals spin into an unplanned rant- letting the shit, the insecurities, the frustrations, amusements and more from the day come flooding out without repercussion. We call this the heat up instead of warm up. We are doing a project on riots and disobedience. We want to get hot.
I forget, as well, how resistant I typically am. That when I start actor games i still have that feeling of- “what’s this shit?” It usually takes a few minutes but eventually I laugh, I let go, I get selfish, I forget about being right, I play. I release. I remember what’s important isn’t how good my contact improv or rant is- what’s important is sharing the sweat and absurdity with the other folks in the room.
We then end with a discussion. What interests us? For me, as a playwright who often writes plays that are meant to draw people into political action (and that usually don’t create this action) I am curious how a riot gets people to move and act spontaneously. I am interested in how dangerous people are when they realize they agree.
It’s now day two. We speak with an expert on riots from London and then go back in the room. We are in Barcelona, making art. Still somewhat unreal.
I am also sore as fuck. Papa don’t move like he used to.