Day Seven | Improvisation Period to build “Under a Tree at the End of Time”
What has become very clear to me is that the making of Under A Tree At The End Of Time is the biggest project I have undertaken by some distance. This is a designed outcome: processually the challenge is to absolutely make a step change in terms of scale and complexity from our previous work; but in direct comparison to my previous play, Our Share Of Tomorrow, the implications of that step change are becoming much more obvious.
In Our Share Of Tomorrow, essentially I had to build only three lives, who all lived in isolation; and the action of the play was instigated by their meetings. Similarly, the oldest character was 40, while the protagonist was only 16, creating manageable upper limits on ‘how much life’ had to be made. Under a Tree at the End of Time has a cast of five. The oldest character is 65; and the pre-existent relationships that exist before the inciting incident of the play (forgive my Mckeeism) are much more extensive with complex mutual histories that all have to be established with integrity. The outcome of all this is that the world is much, much richer; but it makes the task of making it more demanding. Finally the action of the play covers a much greater span of time in an imaginary sense (years rather than days) and is also more ambitious in terms of structure and in terms of what the audience actually see. So it’s probably a longer play as well. This is all ‘a good thing’, and I am learning and adapting actually ‘how to do it’ everyday.
Hard work though.