Quines aim to extend audience participation

A BORDERS audience is to be at the heart of a theatre experiment this week.

The Heart of Hawick is hosting Stellar Quines’ Rehearsal Rooms, a space where new scripts and new writers are presented to a live audience for the first time.

For the Tuesday event, Rehearsal Room 19, Stellar Quines has partnered with Lung Ha’s Theatre Company to explore the work of two female Finnish playwrights.

The show will be streamed live to the internet, where viewers will be able to choose which camera to watch through, and even to suggest camera angles.

Extracts from Island by Laura Ruohonen, and 13 Sunken Years by Paula Salminen, both translated by Eva Buchwald, will be presented script-in-hand by members of both companies. In a discussion afterwards, the audience will be invited to have their say on the script.

Paula Salminen is travelling from Finland to the Heart of Hawick to talk about Finnish female playwrights and her play.

The afternoon rehearsal between 2-4pm, and from 7pm the whole of the evening’s event and post-show discussion, will also be live streamed via Stellar Quines’ website: www.stellarquines.com.

Stellar Quines’ creative producer Lesley Anne Rose said: “The live stream will include a chatroom where an online audience can have their say and ask questions in the post show discussion.

“Those watching online will have the opportunity to choose which camera they watch – all of them at once if they prefer. They will also be able to give the camera operators instructions on what they want to see.

“We want to test how audiences want to watch these events online – so join us and have your say.”

Established in 1993, Stellar Quines is a Scottish theatre company celebrating the energy, experience and perspective of women, Rose said. “We provide a platform for women’s stories and create live theatre driven by women, and where female practitioners are at the forefront of all creative roles. Live theatre lies at the heart of the company, and Stellar Quines is underpinned by a commitment to pushing boundaries and challenging stereotypes.”

Lung Ha’s Theatre Company applies the highest professional standards to present, performing arts events of exceptional quality – providing opportunities for people with learning disabilities to develop theatre skills.

“It aims to be a leading theatre company for people with learning disabilities, in Scotland and internationally. Since its inception in 1984, it is estimated that the company has worked with over 300 performers with a learning disability,” Rose said.

In Paula Salminen’s play, 13 Sunken Years, three women of different generations are tied to one another not only by blood but also by the magic of the river that runs through their remote Finnish town. Eva, turning 18, is eager to set off to university and make her way in the world. Her mother disappears and her grandmother is diagnosed with dementia. As Eva tries to make sense of her life, the lyrically atmospheric play examines the connections between family, roots, destiny and the journey that becomes life. 

Tuesday evening’s performance of 13 Sunken Years and Island, on starts at 7pm, and tickets are £5. To book, call 01450 360688, or go to www.heartofhawick.co.uk for more information.