Guleraana Mir, 26 January 2014

Called by- Guleraana Mir

Attended by-

Liberty (The Human Zoo Theatre Company)

Emma Rucastle

I called the session on the morning of the first day as I wanted to create an opportunity

for anyone who was feeling shy, or nervous, or uncertain to be able to just come by,

and say hi! I know that the last time I was at D&D (also my first time) it took me a while

to get into the process and really understand what I wanted to take away from the

experience. So I thought it might be useful to put on my friendly face and welcome any


Liberty had the same sort of idea and we sat and chatted for a while. Emma joined us

a little later to say hello and talk to us about what she's up to/interested in.

My notes on the session resemble a spiderweb, but we did talk about a few interesting

things so I shall note them down the best I can.

We started with Michael Gove. Liberty is still at college and not necessarily enjoying

the process so it seemed fair that we blame that (and everything else in the world) on

Michael Gove- a man who has never spent a day as a teacher, yet is head of our

country's Education System. What?!

Liberty's pretty against continuing with education, but it sounds like her company-

Human Zoo are creating really cool work, so she's already further ahead than some

practitioners who choose to attend Higher Education.

This led us to discuss Shakespeare and the way that it is taught in schools. I,

personally, feel that people who ‘trash’ the concept of teaching Shakespeare through

modern interpretations are asking students to run before they walk. How can we ask

young people to analyse language that they are unfamiliar with without allowing them

to understand, and appreciate, plot, sub-plot and characters within plays. And what

better way for them to do that than through a medium they are more comfortable with.

Making personal and emotional connections to art (and information) is what allows us

to comprehend it. I believe education should be built on what we already know (it's a

wholly progressive school of thought, many may disagree).

Both Liberty and I agree that our favourite adaptation is Baz Luhrman's Romeo and

Juliet. She noted the clever way in which the director chose to label the guns with

names of swords.

Emma joined us and the conversation moved on.

Liberty said that she read an article that stated running can improve your writing.

Emma told us that her company is touring(?) the first play written in Engllish by a

woman as her company is all female. I was fascinated to learn about this play- it is an

adaptation of a Greek Myth. (FACT OF THE DAY!) She also mentioned that she

started off doing ‘Build-your own adventure’ theatre, which sounds awesome!

We talked about how theatre people often get pigeonholed into

writer-director-producer but quite often collaboration is more satisfying and produces

well-rounded pieces of work. Changing roles, or working together on a piece can

change the outcome (for the better) and allows for different interpretations of a text, or


This conversation led to us attempting to draft our business cards. Emma has a lovely

one, and refers to herself as a Freelance Theatre Professional and I've seen some

cards this weekend where people have chosen the term Theatre Maker.

What do these terms mean? Are they too wishy-washy? Should we be more specific?

But if we're specific do we get left out of opportunities to experiment within our chosen

art-form? So many questions. So many opportunities to discuss what we do and how

we see ourselves within the world of theatre.

May the conversations continue long into the night!

Feel free to get in touch- I'm an enabler, interpret that however you want!

[email protected]



shakespeare, THEATRE, collaboration, Education, women, creativity, roles,

education, business cards, Collaboration, Theatre, Creativity, Shakespeare, theatre,