How do we work? Pt 2

Hi! Welcome to part 2 of our Director/Playwright chat, where we (Suzy & Jenna) will be answering some of the tricky questions posed to us about how we work as a duo.

We are going to jump straight back in where we left off, but if you haven’t read part 1 check it out first here:

So we’ve covered the most exciting parts of working together but what would you say is the most challenging? 

JENNA: The nagging! Only joking Suz, we all know I’d get nothing done without it!

SUZY: Too right, one of us needs to be organised!

JENNA: I always feel like working together goes pretty smoothly. We have pretty complimentary talents and I know I could never do anything half as well without Suzy. She’s going to get a big head but I would probably say working together is the least challenging part of the job for me.

SUZY: I’ve already been way too nice about Jen so I’ll just say, being patient for her to send me drafts of what she is doing… the creative brain isn’t always the best at sticking to scheduled deadlines!

How about as a Director or Playwright, what’s the toughest part for you?

SUZY:  Definitely juggling the responsibility for all of the different elements of the show. Prioritising. Keeping the overall picture. Having faith that everything will come together in the end.

JENNA: The solitude of writing is probably one of the most difficult things for me. Second to that would be knowing when to bite my tongue and not jump the gun too quickly with my thoughts in rehearsals. I read a great quote once about how as a writer when you have finished your script it is like the play has already had the perfect opening night in your head. So when being in the rehearsal room in the early stages it can be difficult for me to let everyone get to where I am in their own time!

What’s more important to you both, the text or the action?

JENNA: Well a catch phrase of mine is often “Don’t worry about the script it’s not important” or “Word the line however you like”. For me once we are working with the text on its feet the intention behind the lines are far more important than being pedantic over the wording. Of course there are a few things I can be precious over and want to be said in the way I wrote it but in essence the actor being comfortable with the text is more important to me.

SUZY: I’m probably much more particular over the text than Jen is and the most likely to drill a line until it’s said word for word. Of course the words mean nothing without unveiling and exploring the action behind them, but ultimately the beauty of language is what Jen and I bonded over originally.

JENNA: That’s true we do both love a good metaphor!

That’s all for part 2! Post us some questions in the comment section and we will be sure to answer them in part 3 next week!

This entry was published on May 27, 2016 at 11:00 am and is filed under Interviews, Q&A, Rehearsals. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “How do we work? Pt 2

  1. Richard Clark on said:

    That’s an interesting one! The well-known Cornish playwright Nick Darke once said to me that if the actors are struggling to learn the lines it probably means that the dialogue needs a second look.I don’t think you tend to have this problem though do you Jen?


    • whiteslatetheatreundone on said:

      Sometimes I do have to rewrite dialogue during the process. It can be easy to forget that the lines are meant to be said aloud when you are writing and I can get myself really attached to how beautiful it looks on the page. You have to accept it sometimes and make the cut if it is impossible for the actors to get the words out. I’ve recently had to let go of the phrase ‘investigative googling’ – try giving that one a whirl at speed! J x


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