Each year, a number of emerging artists are selected to participate in Theatre Works’ Associate Artists Program. Coming from various disciplines, the artists are given an opportunity to work on one of Theatre Works’ productions, gaining valuable industry knowledge and experience. Vidya Rajan is a writer and performance maker with an interest in working with adaptations.
VR: I heard about the Associate Artists Program from previous participants whilst participating in the Directors Lab last year and it seemed like an exciting opportunity to work closely on new work and be exposed to new processes. Theatre Works is such a great part of the Melbourne theatre ecology, a place where risk can be rewarded and I wanted to learn more about the theatre so I felt like this was the right choice for me.
With her interest in adaptations, working with Little Ones Theatre on their upcoming season of Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose was the perfect opportunity for her.
VR: It’s been so interesting to see how Little Ones Theatre works. I’ve particularly gained perspective on approaching and detailing the visual, how to trust that the meaning in even really wordy texts can be achieved through a focus on images and aesthetics. It’s a pretty Wildean lesson actually. I’ve been able to observe rehearsals and assist with dramaturgical questions in the room as they arise, which involves looking at particular themes and tracking changes and how they relate to the overall structure of the show.
Rajan’s interest in working with adaptations began as a reader and reinterpreting those texts into something new.
VR: It’s always interesting to wonder what stories or forms you love might look like in different media. I think my interest in adaptations is really about my interest in performance – what is unique to live performance that other forms can’t offer? How do images and words function differently on stage? Adapting prose or poetry requires you to discover these things.
Read more about The Nightingale and The Rose here.