'Letting it breathe': writing and performing the words of others

Article English OPEN
Enright, H (2011)

Since 2004, I have written three plays whose central focus has been the personal narratives of real people. For each play I conducted the interviews that source the plays' content. I wrote the subsequent plays, and in some cases directed and performed in them. This article examines some of the challenges that arose when resituating personal narratives into performance. I examine challenges encountered during writing, rehearsal and performance, especially regarding representation and responsibility (in, for example, the issue of third-party representation). I discuss my method of ‘punctuating’ the transcribed material dialogue as a kind of free verse in order to try to ‘let it breathe’ in performance. The aim: to help actors in their delivery of verbatim text. The article draws on a final set of interviews, formal and informal, with the actors themselves—in order further to illuminate my process.
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