Introducing Tiffany – our 2nd intern on TRAUM

I am originally from Hong Kong and have been studying in Birmingham for about 4 years now. I am currently doing my MRes directing in the University of Birmingham, and one of my main modules is to do a placement at Theatre Absolute in Coventry. As excited as it sounds, I was very nervous before coming over and meeting new people, so I had to take some supplements for stress I got from

Just a bit about my self- I initially worked as an actress back in my home country. Then, I’ve slowly developed my interest around directing and producing when I was doing my BA Drama and Theatre Arts. I am passionate about doing something experimental with theatre performances and combining theatre art with performance art; I have recently done a drama solo, called The Last Present, which I brought the drama out of the conventional theatre space into a local gallery in Hong Kong that is decorated as a home (The concept of site-specific performance is quite new in Hong Kong.) . So yea, I do a bit of everything now- directing, producing, acting, sometimes, designing for theatre, too.

Let’s talk about this placement: The project that I will be responsible for is TRAUM. My main areas of work at Theatre Absolute is to assist Chris (the director) in the theatre-making processes (contribution of ideas, materials generating, working with actors…etc), and to help Julia (the producer), on the marketing side of the production. It is important for me to take this opportunity and be involved with stuff as much as I can, in order to get a sense of how to run a theatre in the UK and how a professional theatre works. (The best thing is, I am producing my own performance in Hong Kong simultaneously. That means, I can put what I learned from here into practice!)

Although the project, TRAUM, started a year back in Jan 2015, their process of theatre-making makes it less difficult for me to catch up with what I’ve missed; Chris started with (re-)discussing his concepts of TRAUM with the performers, and suggested about what strategies he wants to utilise to convey TRAUM’s message. The fact that this is a collaborative theatre, he allows plenty of time for performers to question, to comment, as well as to contribute to what he has said.

I found that their process is somewhat similar to what Frantic Assembly has done in their projects; Chris requested the actors to bring their personal stories (related to our theme) to the table. By asking details upon their stories (documented through audio recording), materials are generated for the development of TRAUM’s script/plots. Ultimately, a majority of things that are shown in our performances are REAL events and realistic thoughts that were experienced by the ensemble. It is interesting to see how the team started with only a ‘working progress’ of TRAUM and transform it to a complete story in only a short period of time!

The team has begun to work on choreographing and creating movements upon the first draft of TRAUM’s script. (The boys are amazing!) I’ll, hopefully, work a bit more on the marketing side next week. Stay tuned!

p.s. As expected, loads of jokes will come out when you’re working in a team! We manage to get some very unique hashtags running: #facetheturkey If you want to know what this is on about, come to our shows and ask one of the team member about #facetheturkey after the performance!

Tiffany M. Lo

JAN 2016