What was the inspiration for the work?
Some of the biggest inspirations for Never None (but She) are folktales, Studio Ghibli films, and today’s political climate along with the ways I’ve seen people dealing with that. From writing the script to the different forms of performance art we are incorporating into the visual journey through design, music, and movement, I’ve endeavoured to incorporate these source inspirations into the play’s content. Pulling on the themes and methods of folktales and Studio Ghibli films, I aim to address intense topics through a softer lens.
What kind of wider impact in terms of conversations do you hope the work will produce?
Reminders of resilience, community, and the importance of stories. I hope Never None (but She) will get people thinking about the power of the individual, especially to make change and especially when they come together with and listen to others’ perspectives. I hope the audience will leave feeling a sense of wonder that they carry into their daily life, a sense of power if they had been feeling powerless, and a sense of questioning about what stories around them they could lend an ear to.
How far does the content of the work influence your dramaturgical process? (or – what is the relationship between form and content?)
Immensely. Everything we do is working towards increasing the sense of immersion and connection for the audience. The content of Never None (but She) is deeply grounded in it’s live theatre setting, and that influenced how we go about making this show. The very fact that it is live allows us to experiment and play with different forms. From music to physical theatre to so much more, we hope to be able to reach more people through leaning into the live setting and experimenting with different forms of performance. The range of performance forms hopefully will give the audience the opportunity to connect with the different storytelling formats that resonate with them most.
How does this show relate to your usual process or content?
Never None (but She) is the next step for me personally. This piece did not come so easily and took a lot longer to develop. Usually I have an idea for a story and jump into getting a draft of the play together within a couple of weeks. Rather than taking inspiration from a specific folktale, I took this project a step further by drawing on the form of folktales as inspiration instead. The topic of women’s stories and resilience is one close to me that I hope to continue to explore in the content of future work going forward. Since we are also incorporating movement and music, the development process has continued in a more interactive way as we continue to rehearse.
What makes you want to make theatre rather than another art?
To me, theatre provides a space of broadened opportunity. Here audience members and performers can explore and relate to stories and perspectives that in daily life they may not otherwise pay attention to, let alone think on. Live performance art has a component of connection that other forms of art do not always feature as intensely. Being present in the space allows for a unique connection with the audience that is supported by visual design. This space and form along with having the freedom to play with movement, music, and anything else you want to try, makes theatre the ideal art form for me personally.
Is theatre – and the Fringe – a good place to provoke conversations?
Yes!! Theatre provokes conversations whether or not the artists intend for it to. It is our responsibility as artists to be thoughtful about what types of conversations and messages we are inciting and conveying. The stories in the show are centered on different ways women are faced with and overcome oppression, so I hope that is sparks conversations about the different ways others have faced similar hardships and ways we can all take action to listen and support each other. And as for Fringe, where better to provoke conversations than a space where we are meant to push ourselves creatively, reach more people than otherwise possible, and create new ways of connecting with people?