Liberation was our first major piece with Stan Dup and has a special place in my heart. The show started as the brainchild of Robbie and myself, pitching ideas around identity, our place in the world, and what happens around us. We are huge fans of the work of Joseph Chaikin's Open Theatre, and we worked with Jean-Claude van Itallie's script of The Serpent, made famous by Chaikin and his company, for a semester in our second year in uni. We were talking after seeing a show (I forget what show in particular) and I mentioned something about freedom, the idea of a starving artist. That feeling in their stomach, is it liberation or is it starvation?
And so it started.
Rob and I started writing a heap of stuff, we put together a pitch, and started asking people to be involved. We quickly brought Georgia, Dale and Katie on board and we started workshopping stuff. A lot of what we did was just talking about personal experiences, stories we have heard, and responding to basic stimulus. One of the things I loved was playing around with “Inappropriate songs for rioting” from a story I saw on reddit once.
We took a number of stories like that and made some cool headway with these stories. We put in applications to a heap of places, a lot of which were far beyond where we deserved to be (and we got rightfully declined for those), but that was a great experience getting to know the industry and where we stood. We auditioned for a few extra people because we wanted a cast of seven, and we took on Ashley, Jamie and Andrea through this process.
We got into the 2high Festival, and after we finished our third year commitments, we pursued an intensive schedule, which was nice and fun. We created our 35 minute show with about 3 weeks of rehearsals, which was a great experience. We came in 4 weeks before the festival with most of our stimulus and starting points for possible ideas, however we wrote, devised and physicalized it in that month (we took a week off in the middle cause Jamie and Dale had their first year shows).
So what we ended up putting together was an fun little show that has the potential to go anywhere. It was a piece that we all put our hearts and souls into and got my passion going. It was the first time that I went “holy shit, I might be able to do this for real”. For a first show it was incredible to be a part of. We took a concept so broad and confronting, and we dived head first into it.
Liberation will be coming back. It is a big project, which we respect hugely and we will bring the show back to life when we are ready, when our audiences are ready, and when the world is ready. Liberation is a call to arms, and when the call rings out, you will hear it.