Look! Photos!

Images from FURYFactory 2011. (Click on one to enlarge and start slideshow.)

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Okay, yes, we disappeared from here for a while. But we were busy! Script, music and movement was finished, workshopped, rehearsed (by two different Bees – thanks, Lindsay and Ben!), and performed. We deserted the blog to make that happen. Sorry about that.

However, you can now see the video from our San Francisco Friday night (June 10) performance here. The first seven minutes or so are just recording our set-up; the performance starts at about 7:30 so you may want to click to start there.

And if you’d like to hear us talk about the process a bit, you can listen in on our talkback from the same night. We start around 10:30, following the talkback for Outlook’s performance.

Many thanks to High Concept Labs in Chicago for hosting our workshop production a couple of weeks ago, and to FoolsFURY Theatre in San Francisco for hosting us at the FURY Factory Festival of Ensemble Theatre this past week. We’ve had a wonderful time.

– michelle

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Idea for a postcard

After watching the video of the rehearsal I made this little sketch.  We can put a blurb at the bottom right hand corner about people, location, times, etc.


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Check this: It’s Official – Cell Phones are Killing Bees

– michelle

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starting to fly

Many thanks to Lindsay for capturing some footage of our basic bee movement vocabulary and posting it to youtube. Lindsay and I are creating movement, and Ben will be taking some of it on when we get to San Francisco, so this is a way we can start to share what we’re coming up with. In the video, I just go through some of the basics: some walks, flying options, and (at the very end) a “sting” gesture. I also go through modifications of several of them showing what might happen when the bees are sick, confused, or otherwise struggling in some way. (Note to Ben: Feel free to come up with other movements and post them so we can see!)

We also have a lot of other movement we’ve been developing, primarily for Claire – some of it based on the bee movements, and others based on cooking, writing, emailing, texting, gardening, tasting, etc. If we get a chance maybe we can post some of that – but only if we can find a less complicated way to do it. If anyone out there has suggestions of easy ways to get video from an iphone to youtube, we’d love to hear it!

**(You can also hear some of Josh’s fabulous music in this video as well.  Enjoy!)**

– michelle

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Claire After Her Transformation

I see Claire accepting responsibility after she is stung.  I have drawn her as a queen bee, though I’m not sure that’s the idea we’re still going with at this point.  I debated whether her journey should be from soft to hard or hard to soft.  Yes, she does open up more to the community around her, but she also needs to go into the world to fight for the bees.  It’s less that the clothes cut her off from other people as they give her strength in knowing who she is so that she isn’t as afraid to deal with other people.

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Claire at the beginning

Michelle asked me to help picture Claire, before and after her transformation.  In order to do this I thought about what it’s like to hole up in your house all day long (something I am not unfamiliar with).  Dressing up becomes unnecessary, since no one is going to see you.  I imagined Claire wearing a bathrobe all day long.  Not sexy but comfortable.  She’s almost like an immature larvae that doesn’t have a protective shell and has built a cocoon (the walls and screens around her) for protection.

I realize this doesn’t quite work with Claire greeting the audience at the top of the show, but wonder if perhaps it makes more sense for the other character to be the greeter, so that the audience is more connected to the hive, rather than Claire?


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“They Learn to Communicate” (Josh’s Assignment)

Ben, here. Below are my results from Josh’s assignment on “They Learn to Communicate.” The assignment introduced a strong element of chance by having us roll dice to determine the steps in a simple story. Of the eight rolls, I ended up rolling mostly the same numbers:

  • I got one 6: “they communicate!”
  • Two 2s: They try to communicate but do not understand each other
  • and six 5s: they try to communicate but it doesn’t work out exactly how they want

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bumps in the road

Things have been rolling along, and it’s exciting to see the skeleton of a show coming together. And… there have also been challenges.

There are some obvious challenges, such as working with collaborators at a distance (lots of phone tag, some missed communication, minimal opportunities to read body language as we create together, not everyone knows each other…) and the fact that we’re creating something together, from nothing, as a group (Who makes final decisions? How do we find our way through all the layers to land on the movement, words, story, and ideas we can all agree on? Who leads rehearsals? Who writes? Who edits? How do we bring all the wonderful and complex voices that are at the table into one cohesive performance?). Not to mention the fact that we are taking this show on the road and won’t have the actual space, objects, or even all the people until about one week prior to performance.

Here are some other challenges that I’d like to acknowledge:

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Here are two questions I’ve been mulling over in the past few days. Collaborators, any thoughts?

1. Why do we care about Claire? More importantly, why should the audience care about Claire? And how do we cultivate that?

2. We’ve talked a lot about the journey Claire goes on. What journey do we want to take the audience on?

The second question is inspired from talking to a friend of mine who is creating a solo show and he said he wants the audience to go from “here” (leaning forward) to “here” (a bit back) to “here” (more back with a perplexed look on their faces) to “here” (light dawning on their faces with a “maybe?” look) to “here” (leaning forward again). I loved his description/embodiment of it. What is the journey for our Bees audience?

– michelle


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