For the past eight weeks, five of us have been beached upon a small island in Sydney’s theatre scene, Griffin Theatre Company. Here, as participants of Griffin’s ‘From Page to Stage’ workshop, we’ve been given an insider’s view into the theatre-making process of their current production, Beached.
With playwright Hilary Bell as our guide, we’ve been privy to the ideas behind the man inside the fat (almost literally). Beginning with Melissa Bubnic’s darkly humorous script, we followed the development and creation of this Sydney premiere production, with discussions with Griffin Artistic Director Lee Lewis, director Shannon Murphy, her creative team (James, Verity, and Steve), and Griffin’s marketing and publicity team, Michael and Charlotte. From the mechanics of planning a season (often two or three years ahead) to stepping into the rehearsal room, the technical rehearsal, and ultimately opening night, we became part of the Beached family, and began to realise just how much blood, sweat, and tears goes into the creation of a play at Griffin (and, by extension, in theatres everywhere).
For a theatre-nerd like myself, the opportunity to sit in a room in the Griffin house and talk theatre with theatre-people for two hours a week seemed like my kind of heaven, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
Glenn Saunders is a Sydney-based writer with an Honours degree in Screen Production from Macquarie University. An aspiring dramaturg, he frequently visits Sydney’s theatres and writes about what he sees at sydneytheatreseen.blogspot.com and thespellofwakinghours.blogspot.com.
Find out more about Griffins workshops here.