It’s now February, and obviously that means one thing and one thing only. You’ve had the dates in your calendar since the beginning of the year, and you’ve been slowly counting down the time, day after day, week after week until you can seize the opportunity of a lifetime and audition for The Greenhouse!
Now, we know that you’re all just jumping at the chance to join The Greenhouse team and go on this crazy adventure with us, but that doesn’t mean you don’t also want to know a bit about which shows might be a good fit for you before you come on over to auditions between the 11th-18th February. And there’s no need for you to worry, because we’ve got you covered!
You can read a little synopsis of each show if you head on over to the audition events on our Facebook page, so to really give you an insight into what each show entails we spoke to each show team and asked them to give their own personal accounts of the shows and why they think you should audition!
Evaluation- Caelen Mitchell-Bennett (Writer and Director)
Evaluation is a short play that focuses on a conversation between a human and a machine. It is a simple concept made complicated by the fact that all lines delivered by the machine are pre-recorded and queued live.
The conversation is essentially an interrogation – the machine’s critical and hypocritical questions are in fact meant to judge humanity as a whole, bringing into context environmental degradation, human conflict, and other anthropocentric crises, which the human must defend against. I wrote this play with the intention of impressing a single idea: that in order to make things better, humanity must undertake the daunting task of combining unflinching optimism with constant, objective self-criticism. That doubt must always accompany progress, and vice versa. If not misguided or at least over-simplified, the idea was to portray this as a literal argument between human doubt and logic itself.
Evaluation loosely draws on a few select episodes of the 1987 television program, Star Trek: The Next Generation, mainly those episodes which involve semi-omniscient beings and their evaluations of humanity. While the play has nothing to do with Star Trek, it does utilize many of its themes and a few selections of dialogue. Admittedly, I did write this play because I love Star Trek, but I also wrote it for its size – for the challenge of cramming such a wide scope of ideas into such a small package. I definitely did not succeed. While it may be just small enough to say both everything and nothing, somewhat appropriately, I really doubt it.
From The Wind – Eilidh MacKinnon (Playwright)
From The Wind follows the development of renewable energy on the Fair Isle, a small island half way between Shetland and Orkney. Discussing the attitude of the Scottish government towards funding and aiding renewable projects on the islands and mainlands of Scotland. The people of the community speak their mind in this verbatim play, as their relationship with the island and how it provides them energy, changes over the lifetime of the Fair Island inhabitants.
My experience of writing the show has led me to interact with many interesting people. As it is verbatim I had to make contact with actual residents of the Fair Isle.
Additionally, I learned a lot from Community Energy Scotland and made contact with a prominent Scottish renewable energy project developer who was happy to take the time to explain the current political and financial barriers facing renewable energy projects. It has been an incredibly educational and eye opening experience in the process of writing this play.
The Greenhouse is the ideal platform for this play due to its renewable nature and the emphasis it is placing on the environment. The incredible work of the Scottish based Greenhouse team has helped not only with providing full support for the show but in encouraging me as a writer to pursue larger scale projects and keeping me to a time schedule!
Daphne, or Hellfire – Isla Cowan (Playwright and Director)
I am a Scottish playwright and director, currently based in Edinburgh. I graduated from St Andrews with MLitt Writing for Performance earlier this year. Most recently, I was Assistant Director on the NTS / Traverse Theatre production of GUT by Frances Poet and my environmental play, ‘The View From Portobello’, was commissioned by David Greig for the Lyceum Youth Theatre’s 20th anniversary production in November. I am also currently on attachment at Hampstead Theatre in London (read more: islacowan.com): “I’m really excited about bringing ‘Daphne, or Hellfire’ to the Greenhouse. I feel really passionately about this project and what it means for changing theatre today. While I have a strong sense of the play, I am always interested in ‘playing’ with the script once I have actors and creatives in the room (and we’re already assembling a kick-ass production team!!). This means that rehearsals will be a process of exploring and experimenting together – we’re looking for two strong actors who will embrace the opportunity to really dig deep into their characters and develop this play”.
The Earth Untold – Georgia Luckhurst (Playwright)
The opportunity to stage a show at the Greenhouse is truly once in a lifetime. It’s rare to find a group of people as committed, efficient, supportive and passionate as the team at BoxedIn, and the chance to work on this project with such a talented network was irresistible.
The Untold Earth may seem conceptually simple – what is more ancient than the urge to tell stories? – but it is for that reason that I’ve loved working on it; remembering how much I loved sitting and listening to a well-told tale as a child. This show is for families, but it isn’t pandering: ultimately, we want to remind people how much we owe to our earth, and thereby prompt our audience to do their best to protect it.
More so than writing, I’m loving the research. I’ve been delving into old myths, reading historical anecdotes, even taking my first ever trip to the Science Museum… My goal is to make a show that feels warm and positive about our relationship to the environment, while still being pointed, because even just in the process of writing I’ve realized exactly how indebted we are to our physical surroundings, and how much we take them for granted.
Shellshock – Louis Catliff (Playwright and Director)
Creating Shellshock has been really fun. I’m working with a very talented musician in Joseph “Bowow” Baker to help write the music for the show. We’re working on establishing its specific genre and ‘sound’ which is currently a mixture of folk and blues. The setting is Louisiana so we’ve decided to really draw inspiration from the musical history of that part of the world which I think fits both the story and Greenhouse venue nicely.
The idea to do a comedy about a lowly intern starting out in the oil industry came up when I was chatting with a friend at the last fringe. I’ve always wanted to direct a musical and the idea seemed to really suit the form. In combining the squeaky-clean sensibilities and aesthetic of a musical with the morally dubious corporate setting of a large oil company I wanted to highlight the hypocrisy and the humour in each. Also, it helps round out our exciting and varied programme. Whether you’re into dance, drama, verbatim or music The Greenhouse has got something for you.
Swallows – Oli Savage (Director)
For me, Swallows was the beginning of this project. It started in the basement of a wine-bar in Tottenham Court Road almost two years ago. Henry pitched me a show about eco-terrorism, and slowly, it grew and grew. See, we know what we’re doing is important – we know that the planet is dying, and we know that we need to treat it better. We know that leading by example is one way. But what if that isn’t enough?
This is an incredibly hopeful and beautiful piece of writing that looks at the self-obsession inherent in the environmental crisis. It carefully explores the fact that it isn’t nature and it isn’t some multifarious existence but it is, in fact, fundamentally individuals that have caused the mess we are currently in. It looks at all that and then it asks: honestly – what are we meant to do?
The Voices We Hear – Louis Catliff (Co-Director)
The idea for voices came out of wondering what would be the most inconvenient way to meet the love of your life? It’s a meet cute like any other really. But in this the setting is a world ravaged by an environmental apocalypse, the couple only communicated via a two way transistor radio and the inconvenience is that one character, after being totally alone for a good few years with no hope of finding other human life, commits suicide just as the radio sparks to life.
Oli and I thought it would be a unique way of exploring a familiar concept. We wanted to take a subject matter like the apocalypse, one that is frequently used as an excuse to blow up landmarks onscreen and humanise it, creating a story that looks specifically at loneliness and intimacy in the most extreme of situations.
So there you have it, a little bit more about all of our fabulous shows!
Now, we’re sure you want to audition for them all, and don’t worry you can do just that! Make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep on top of all audition updates over the next couple of weeks.