UTOPIA 2: More time!



More time! - and the dramaturgy of the rehearsal process.

An investigation into the elusive element of time in rehearsal processes. How time is spent, how time is experienced. What are the tools and the states of mind that turn the abstract, empty, open-to-all-possibilites time span into an experienced sequence of events and actions and steps? What are the details and elements that make up the process? How does time feel during the different steps?

Is there a dramaturgy of the rehearsal process? A beginning, a middle, and an end? Important turning points, decisive phases, changing of levels? Point of no return, peripeteia, dénouement? Are there common structures that characterise all rehearsal processes, and what are the important differences?



The experiment is inspired by Laboratoriet's Rehearsal Matters interview collection (www.rehearsalmatters.org). Here, one of the questions for the artists was, 'What would you wish for in an ideal rehearsal process?' And the most frequent answer from the artists was: 'More time.'

But why? What is behind that wish? Would one always want for more time, no matter how much time you have? Is that an inherent force in the creative process, to always push the boundaries further?



Obviously, an experiment with this focus must try to make the invisible visible. How do you make time the object of your practical research and reflections? How do you make it visible, or tangible? 

I had several different ideas for approaches, and so far at Laboratoriet we have been able to try out two of them:

1) A knowledge sharing dialogue between 4 performing arts professionals (directors/ dramaturgs/ playwrights/ performers, a theatre researcher and a student. The aim was to get inputs on different angles and perceptions on time in creation and rehearsal, to find possible directions for a practical experiment.

2) A 4-day experiment with shrinking and stretching time in a series of micro-rehearsal periods, working with 3 actors and a pile of random scenes.

The process continues, I sincerely hope, because so many interesting perceptions and phenomena have come out of the work so far - and so many more questions have come up along the way.

Please share with me, if this has inspired you, your thoughts about time in this context, or your suggestions for other ways to investigate and experiment with the concept of time.  I am also especially interested in your observations from rehearsal processes that you have observed or participated in.

Write me at barbara (at) laboratoriet.org



Dorthe Hansen Carlsen, Mikkel Stubbe Teglbjerg, Thomas Biehl
Barbara Simonsen
Kathrine Lund 

The experiment was conducted at Bora Bora, Aarhus, September 2013.

The knowledge sharing dialogue was held at Forsøgsstationen, Copenhagen, May 2013.
Participants: Solveig Weinkouff, director. Daniel Wedell, director. Lotte Faarup, director/playwright. Barbara Simonsen, director/dramaturg. Kathrine Lund, student.