“We need creative creatures. Companions. Allies. Associates“
In an article on her blog, Geinor Styles, artistic director of Theatr na nÓg, brings to the fore the importance of keeping to engage “not only with our audience but with each other in these very isolating times”
At Theatr na nÓg, we are compelled to tell stories, but we cannot do it on our own. We need creative creatures. Companions. Allies. Associates.
When I was in school, the moments I enjoyed best were the ones when a group of us were left to our own devices. When things didn’t go to plan, for example – when a teacher didn’t turn up for a lesson or the school bus was late. So we sat and shared stories and secrets, larked around and laughed. Magical times, with a group, who had a connection.
Those moments just stick in my mind and in my heart.
Now grown up, older and frankly, should know better, I’ve managed to emulate that connection with creative creatures. We share stories and secrets, lark around and laugh, and then we get to work. Hone ideas, craft stories into plays and then we tell those stories.
These creatures are my allies, my companions, my associates.
I can call them up and say “what you think about this for a show?” We bounce ideas around like ping-pong, combining ideas of what the story can be, who is it for, where it will be performed. I begin to visualise it all. Imagining myself at the back of a packed auditorium. I see the scenes, the audiences silhouetted by the lights from the stage, the venue. Everything. It is clear as day for me. Like a virtual model box.
I live for these conversations. These connections.
Now I’m at home on my own. It’s odd being a director and working from home. It’s strange being a director and having to self-isolate. I have no stage, no actors, no audience. Just little ole me. But what about our stories?
It’s made me realise how much I depend on those allies, those companions, those associates. How much I value their spark of imagination, to tell a story to share a secret. To say something so funny that I double up at their unusual take on a situation. Their ingenuity and their musicality. How much they inform me, with their stories and their secrets.
I miss them.
Especially now as we step into an unknown world, where we are desperate to make sense of it, and our need to make sense of it for others is overwhelming.
So I connect. I call my allies up. I ask how they are doing, and it is apparent, clear as day, that their purpose has always been to create and connect. They are now trying to make sense of it all as a creature let alone a creative.
We meet, virtually; we share stories. We share our gratitude for our family. Reconnecting with our loved ones. But that need to create to connect, to share is tangible, as far as it can be via a screen.
There is a flurry of ideas and suggestions.
So left to our devices, we begin to create once more. In a new way. A different way. Rekindling our love, our passion and that “Greddf”. Instinct. Intuition.
Then quietly, a perfect soul offers. ” If you just want to talk and not create. I’m here for you.”
This is more than an association. We are allies, companions.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou
Theatr na nÓg are compelled to tell stories, but we cannot do it on our own. We need these creative creatures more than ever to make sense of this new and different world.
In the uncertainty of coming weeks and months, I have asked my allies to help me tell stories. To get us through the hard times, and when things just don’t go to plan.
So now that we are left to our own devices that’s what we’ll be doing. For all our needs.