Welcome to this year’s Festival Blog. Over the coming weeks we’ll be posting updates from many of the companies presenting work in the 2013 festival. We’ll have news from the cast and creative teams who are busy preparing in the rehearsal room as well as photos and videos of the work in progress.

Check back with us for more as the countdown to the Dublin Theatre Festival 2013 commences!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Neutral Hero, Richard Maxwell/New York City Players

The Journey and Development of Neutral Hero
Jean Ann Garrish, Actor

Well, we should start at the beginning – three years ago, we were faced with the question, "how do you achieve neutrality in theatre?" Obviously, you make paper maché masks in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, I was faced with the task of getting Vaseline out of my hair for days after. 

Ultimately, it was decided that these would not work in Neutral Hero. But we journeyed on through more workshops and rehearsals, and finally found ourselves opening in Brussels in the spring of 2011. Our next stop landed us in Vienna, where we discovered (in our spare time, of course) a little something called “Musical Brunch” – food and drink and music, in the grass behind our hotel.  It’s truly a perfect experience when you are traveling with such gifted players.

But travelling from city to city can be a bit stressful at times, with language barriers, the packing and unpacking and packing again, the trains and planes and automobiles, and the realization that you have left your computer power cord in your previous hotel room, as you are currently en route to yet another city (yep, that would be me).  So when we found ourselves in Germany, we did what you do in Germany, and headed to Zum Frosch (“The Frog”) and played some pool. Even our fearless leader, writer and director, Richard Maxwell, needed to blow off some steam with some darts.

Fun and games aside, we were there to perform, and each theatre presented its own set of issues for both the cast and the crew to figure out.  Every house is different in size, so not only did our frame need to be adjusted; we also needed to modify our movements, and tweak our projection.  We needed to get reacquainted with our show each time. 

 Once our frame was up and our chairs set, there was just one little issue left: the subtitles. Since weve mostly performed in cities where English is not the first language, subtitles were projected onto a screen above our heads. I get it, its quite essential for an audience to understand what we are saying, but I cant say its not a little jarring to have the majority of people in the house looking over your head. Finally, with the subtitles ready, the blockthroughs, runthroughs and a full dress done, we were ready to share our show.

And when all the costumes were hung, there was only one thing left to do: find the festival centre, and celebrate the best way we knew how.

We danced...                                                                                   ...and danced


and danced some more...

But for now, we head back into our rehearsal space in Brooklyn. It's been almost a year since we last performed this piece in New York, and there is work to be done. This way, when we arrive in Dublin we’re ready to do it all again.

Jean Ann Garrish, Actor

Neutral Hero in performance, credit Almudena Crespo
For more information and to book tickets, click here
Neutral Hero runs from Oct 9-12 in Project Arts Centre (Space Upstairs)

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