Friday, 5 August 2011

My 3 Projects: On Time, Three Women & Project X

It’s seven weeks until Richard Di Gregorio: On Time opens at The Space Dance & Arts Centre in Prahran. Two weeks ago, Richard, director Chris Broadstock and I went out taking some publicity shots with Richard contemplating time in front of some of the famous clocks of Melbourne. First stop, the giant pocketwatch that hangs inside Melbourne Central and bursts open on the hour every hour to the delight (and dismay) of passers-by; second, the clock tower of the Melbourne Town Hall; and, finally, the iconic clocks at Flinders Street. If the weather had been better and, errr, time more on our side, we could have wandered further down St Kilda Rd to get a pic in front of the floral clock.

Richard Di Gregorio contemplates time...
The photoshopped piece on my On Time page is almost the same as the image we’re using in the official Melbourne Fringe guide – and similar imagery will be reflected in the business cards and posters we’ll be using to promote the show. (Business cards instead of postcards with the thought that people will keep business cards, where flyers and postcards might get lost in people’s bags?)

The clocks series will be attached to press releases and others will be available here in due course.

The next major step in pre-production for On Time is to shoot the two A/V sequences of the show: one, which introduces Richard and the themes of the show; the other, a short film that is partly an act break and partly an excuse for Richard to take a breather. But both pieces still need to be shot over the coming weekends, giving Richard enough time to edit them well before opening night. Behind-the-scenes photos from both shooting days will also be available for publicity.

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Three Women had a very important meeting this week to discuss limited venue options for November and how we want to proceed on numerous levels. The show is a particularly collaborative one from the get-go, since the second half will be workshopped with the actors before I write the script. We’re also tossing around suggestions for production design and music before we bring on board people to help with our vision. And, most discussed of all our decisions, was the choice to invite someone in for “directorial input”, rather than having a director. We’re either mad or we’re... well, we’re probably mad. But three actors, a writer and a possible stage manager/producer all seem to be almost on the same page, so we might be able to pull it off.

We’ve decided to put off production until early February, 2012 – but there will be a presentation version in November. Still settling on which venue to use (since two that take our fancy are available in February, but not-so-much in November), both have their advantages and their disadvantages – but we are beginning the workshop process this Sunday and looking forward to trying parts of it out in November to see how it’s looking and to get some support behind us for the February season.

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The Letter X has no real bearing on the project...
Finally, Project X is something that appeared on my plate about a week and a half ago from an actor/producer friend of mine who wanted to grab a particular theatre space in early September to present a season of short plays. It’s still in the early stages, though the fact opening night is only four weeks away means we’re really in the late stages, as well. A meeting tonight pretty much settled the structure of the season (6 nights over 2 weeks in Sept) and what it will consist of (2 x 10 min plays of mine; 1 x 20 min play of another writer). Meeting with producer on Wednesday to talk about casting, though sending scripts to her tonight and suggestions of casting as soon as I put my thinking cap on.

It will be interesting to see what we can do in so little time. Excitement for the quick turnaround time has already created momentum toward the season – and since we know we haven’t got enough time to scratch (or pinch) ourselves, we also haven’t got time to second guess things. The pieces will be pretty sparsely produced, but we’re eager to present pared back but polished versions rather than just a season of script readings. Enough with the readings, let’s get on with the show!

And I’ll sleep in October.

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