NEW WRITING: A PONDERING OF PRESENT

新 寫 作: 一種對當下的琢磨


PI: Please introduce the New Writing Plan at Bush Theatre to our audiences who had never been here before. For instance, what is the general process of producing a new play, from scripts to stage?

RD: We are a new writing theatre, we only produce new plays in English from local, national or international writers. We received plays from a number of ways. We probably receive and read about 2,500 plays. We receive plays (two rounds submission per year: spring and autumn) from individual writers who don’t have agencies; that’s about 1,500 plays a year. These are usually works at the very early stages. We read those plays within three or four months and make a shortlist. We also receive plays for agents. They are writers who might have some previous experience in writing. And thirdly we receive plays from other theatres, directors or companies.

After reading all the works, then we decide to either seed-commission or full-commission a writer. Seed-commission is a small amount of money to develop the idea, and look a bit further and then we can meet and talk about the progress. A full commission is to fund a writer who has already a clear idea; they will provide a first draft and then after receiving our feedback, a second draft. That could take from 6 months to a year. Then we consider that work for programming on main stage.

Then we run the play for about six weeks. We produce four shows a year in house and then coproduce two shows with other theatres. There are six plays a year.

We believe the most valuable way to develop a writer is to produce their play and get their play in front of the audience. Every play under commission will have at least have a chance
of reading with the creation team. So through communicating with directors and actors, the work becomes live before the playwright. The ambition is always to turn a seed commission to a full commission, a full commission to production, and help writers to develop a longer career. We want to produce bigger and bolder plays here, we want to create a type of storytelling, a type of narrative in our theatre and the best way to do that is to keep on developing plays in house.

PI: 請為我們介紹一下布什劇場的新寫作計劃。例如,一部戲從劇本寫就 到舞臺呈現的過程。

RD: 我們是一個只排演新劇本的新寫作劇院。我們一年總共收到大約 2500部作品。其中完全出自寫作新手的作品大約有1500部。我們可能要 花3到4個月的時間閱讀這些初期作品,從中選擇幾百個感興趣的作品進 行排表,然後在第二輪再選出六個作品,幫作者發展這些作品。此外,我 們也會從經紀人和其他劇院那收到一部分作品。

我們對感興趣的新寫作作家主要有兩種支持方式:種子計劃和完整計 劃。完整計劃中,我們協助作家一起完成劇本的一稿、二稿;為他們提供 專門的排演空間和導演、演員、觀眾探討的機會;獨立制作4部作品,2部 與其他劇場或公司合作。我們相信發展新作家的最佳方式,是將他們的 作品搬到舞臺之上,觀眾面前。當然我們的終極目標是把所有列入種子 計劃的作品發展為完整計劃,將所有完整計劃的劇本變成舞臺作品呈現 在觀眾面前。

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PI: What are the differences between staging a new writing play and a classic work? Does it mean more recourses and efforts?

RD: Yes. It sounds like a long and lonely process and it means more time, more financial resources to spend. It also means collaboration from an earlier point, because you are collaborating with the writer from the moment you read the first page.

If I would be directing Three Sisters, I don’t have the privilege to have the writer in the room, therefore it sort of forces the director to interpret what he/she thinks. When you put a writer in the process, it becomes a wonderfully exciting relationship. For instance, the writers start being asked questions he/she has never been asked. The collaboration might take some more time and becomes a more emotional process, but in the end hopefully this relationship brings a stronger, more interesting, more exciting work.

PI: 和處理經典作品相比,與新寫作的作家合作,有哪些不一樣的地方? 從你剛才講的過程來看,需要更多的精力吧?

RD: 是的,這個過程可能聽上去漫長孤單,也意味著更多的時間和花銷。 這是一種更早期的合作。如果我去導演像《三姐妹》這樣的作品,就沒有 能和作家進行交流的優勢了。在這個合作過程中,作家也可能會遇到以前 沒想過的問題,這也是最讓人激動也令人反思的過程。這個過程可能需 要更多的時間,也會牽涉更多的情感交流,但是最後,這樣的合作也往往 能產生更加強烈、有趣、激動人心的作品。


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