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DIY: 2014 – Dickie Beau ‘The House of Strange Loops’

A workshop at the National Theatre Studio to create a new drag family ensemble, The House of Strange Loops.

Project Summary:
Who are you in your family? Are you the quiet one? The clever one? The clown?

According to psychotherapist Valeria Ugazio, your subjective role – aka your “position” – is derived from your “conversational co-position”, i.e. in relation to another family member. For example, if you are the “honest” one in your family of mafiosi, you perceive yourself, and/or are perceived as such, only in relation to the “liar”. You are “strong” in relation to the family “weakling”.

Utilising the National Theatre Studio’s resources, this five day workshop will take as its jumping off point participants' self-identification within their families' real-life scripts and try to find comparable characters for these identity positions in plays that have been staged at the National Theatre.

Through conversation, games, a seminar in drag semantics, screenings of key films, and performance experiments, we will work out the family dynamics of the group, the overarching narrative concerns (family values), and explore characteristics of codependence/interdependence, identity/identification, performance/performativity, agency/impotence, and things like that.

The whole experience will be an experiment in collaboration and the creation of ensemble performance, and will explore the opportunities/limitations therein for the realisation of individual alter-egos…

If it sounds like hard work, that's because it will be.

Dates, time & location:
Monday 24th November to Friday 28th November 2014 @ National Theatre Studio, London.

Application procedure:
Please apply by email to Dickie Beau cc'ing Aaron Wright with a short biography and answers to the following questions. (Note: try to be honest, don't try to impress. Please also try to be searching and thorough, but concise.)

1. What is your main position within your family? (e.g. The Clown/The Artist/The Troublemaker/The Peacemaker/The Clever One/The Drama Queen/The Shrinking Violet…) Note: the role is one which you should be able to recognise as not only how you are related to by other members of your family, but also one which continues to underpin your self-perception, whether you like it or not, and influences relationships outside the family. Think about that for a minute.

2. What are your family's core values? (e.g. Strong work ethic, honesty, secretiveness, generosity, greed…).

3. Who in your family is your co-position? (e.g. if you're the “honest” one, is it your brother Jimmy who is the “liar”? If you can't locate your co-position within your immediate family, extend your search – it may be your paternal grandfather who was convicted of fraud in 1973). Briefly describe, if you can, the nature of the polarization between you and this person.

4. Have you ever been affected by: phobias, obsessive compulsive behaviour, depression, eating disorders, addictions, or other similar behavioural/psychological issues? Please specify. Note: this information is confidential, but if you'd rather not say, don't say.

5. Finally, please explain briefly what interests you about this workshop and why on earth you would want to get mixed up in it.

Deadline, noon, Monday July 21st.

The artist:
Dickie Beau is a queer clown and drag fabulist, looting a range of performance traditions from “low culture” to “high art” in the creation of distinctive performance experiences. He has directed workshops for Queen Mary University of London, University of Manchester and National Theatre Y oung Studio as well as leading previous DIY   projects. He has also acted as an artists' mentor for SPILL Festival, Chichester University and QMUL. He is the winner of the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award 2014, under the auspices of which he will present a new piece, 'Camera Lucida', at Barbican Centre's Pit Theatre in Oct-Nov 2014.

Dickie Beau

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