I’ve worked through a few drafts of ‘Gay & Troubled?’ now. Every time I look at it, and look back at the transcripts and listen to the interviews, I’m struck by the magnitude of the piece. How do I do justice to the experiences? The stories? The lovely people, some of whom I’d never met before, and the trust they gave me when we spoke for that hour or two?
There are a couple of performers that have informed the shape of ‘Gay & Troubled’ for me:
1. Anna Deveare Smith (Pre-Nurse Jackie). She did Fires in the Mirror about the NYC Crown Heights riots and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 about the Rodney King riots. She has used interviews as a way to gather various perspectives from communities experiencing violent conflict.
2. Eve Ensler and her work with The Vagina Monologues is an example of activism and theatre intersecting. I saw a performance of it in Belfast a couple of years ago, in aid of the Rape Crisis Centre, and the use of an ensemble in it was actually really effective.
Drafting, shaping, redrafting, finding more fantastic moments from interviews, getting pleasantly side-tracked in the different cadences of interviewees’ individual voices…shaping, reshaping, cutting and pasting.
It’s a tremendous privilege.
The research and development of ‘Gay & Troubled?’ would not have been possible without the generous support of the Arts Council NI.