Clare Duffy’s TravCast & Writing Workshop

Clare Duffy, one of ANA’s co-writers, is running a writing workshop at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh on Saturday 3 March which will explore collaborative writing across languages and cultures. This is a unique opportunity to learn more about the creative collaborative process and we are delighted to announce that Clare’s Quebecois co-writer, Pierre Yves Lemieux will also be there. Clare has also been interviewed by the Traverse for this month’s TravCast, the writer’s podcast created by the theatre’s Literary Officer Jennifer Williams.

Doubling up in style

Neil Cooper of The Herald writes:

These are interesting busy times for Scottish theatre company Stellar Quines.

They are, as you read this, in the midst of premiering Ana, a new bilingual play by Scots writer Clare Duffy and Quebecois playwright Pierre-Yves Lemieux. Co-produced with French-Canadian company, Imago, Ana opened last Tuesday night at Theatre Epace Go in Montreal prior to a Scottish tour in spring 2012.

On the face of it there is nothing unusual about any of this.


Byron Toben of the Charlebois Post writes:

After the world premiere opening of the wonderful, thought-provoking play ANA at Espace Go, I wisecracked that it should be subtitled Six Annas in Search of their Mother.

Later, reading director Serge Denoncourt’s program notes, I was gratified to see that he also paraphrased Pirandello to describe the show. The co-authors, Clare Duffy of Scotland and Pierre Yves Lemieux of Montreal spent three years working up a script based on a concept by Clare Schapiro of Montreal and Muriel Romanes of Scotland.

The Charlebois Post also interviewed Pierre-Yves Lemieux, one of the writers of ANA, you can see the interview here.

Muriel’s Montreal Diary – entry three

Muriel Romanes is the Artistic Director of Stellar Quines Theatre Company. Muriel has been developing Ana for over five years and is currently in Montreal for the rehearsals and opening of the show.

We have come to the end of rehearsals and tomorrow we move into the theatre to have the first work through with the set and without any tech.

Part of the cast in the rehearsal room, EspaceGo Montreal

Round the table in Rehearsals for ANA

This will give the actors a chance to get used to the space. On Wednesday they will do the same and on Thursday the actors will be in costume parade and in the evening a run through and notes. Friday there will be a cue to cue technical. Serge gives really wonderful notes and encourages everyone to work in an ensemble way.

Last week EspaceGo gave a lunch for us all and we had lashings of smoked salmon and cream cheese and all washed down with rosé wine. In the evening Alain invited the entire Scottish contingent to his house for dinner which was delightful. Although we had a death defying journey there in Clare Schapiro’s husband’s Land Rover which was able to transport everyone to the other side of the Mount Royal in one journey.

Clare Schapiro and Muriel Romanes

Our two Artistic Directors, Clare (left) and Muriel (right)

I have a meeting with the Quebec writer Jennifer Tremblay and her translator Shelley Tepperman at the beginning of next week to talk about her play The List, which will be presented through Stellar Quines’ Rehearsal Room on Thursday 26 January 2012 at the Traverse theatre. I am also having a meeting with Martin Bowman this weekend to talk about A Live Bird in the Mouth, Stellar Quines’ next production.

This week Megan and Frances took a bus trip into the Laurentian Mountains and were dropped in the middle of nowhere, luckily they found a diner which all sounds a bit like an old movie scenario maybe Bus Stop?! But they had a crazy but good time. And Philip Pinsky went to Quebec City for the weekend to visit friends, while I walked the streets of Montreal looking for a knitting shop as diversion therapy.

Muriel’s Montreal Diary – entry two

Muriel Romanes is the Artistic Director of Stellar Quines Theatre Company. Muriel has been developing Ana for over five years and is currently in Montreal for the rehearsals and opening of the show.

I have just been asked to prepare notes for the programme and we need to write about the journey we have made over the last five years.

Looking back it is only now at the end of the journey that I think I know what “cultural differences” really means in regard to the different ways of theatre in Quebec, Romania and Scotland.

I think it is possible that sometimes the journey is more interesting than the end product and now as we come to the end, it is the memory of myself and Clare Duffy talking through ideas and structures, the exquisite actors in Romania who were so talented and hungry for new ideas and new experiences.

The development of ANA - Romania 2007

A group photo from a workshop to develop ANA in Romania, October 2007

How they walked us through their city Timisoara to tell us of the days of Revolution, the slaughter of people on the steps of the cathedral when the church doors were slammed shut on them by the priests. The sizzling of the hot wax from the church candles as it dripped into water troughs . The downfall of Ceausescu which took place in the square outside the National Theatre of Timisoara where we were working and in which many of the actors took part. The day they taped me up during the workshop in the Traverse and when I cut and pasted (for real) the speeches of Hedda Gabler, Marilyn Monroe and Nora from Dolls House and how we used the text to play a scene between these characters.

Muriel Romanes tapes up on ANA workshop, Romania 2007

The day they taped Muriel up during the workshop in the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Megan Baker the costume designer and Philip Pinsky the composer and sound designer walked over Mount Royal today and visited St. Josephs Oratory and were as impressed as I was at the heat and first sight of the hall of lit candles.

We are just about to prepare a supper for the Scottish team and I must sign off now until the next time.