Guards! Guards!

By Janne Andsten on March 12th, 2016

 

I read my first Terry Pratchett novel when I was in high school, many years ago with the exact date lost to the annals of history. I do remember which one it was though: Hogfather. Completely in the middle of the Death series, but I didn’t let that bother me too much at the time: in fact, I didn’t even know much about Pratchett before reading it. I had heard the name before in passing, but had never looked too much into Discworld as a series. Probably something to do with the weird covers. And also that my teenage self was, naturally, a reader of serious (teenage) fantasy, of serious (teenage) stories, and something like Terry Pratchett was far too silly for my mature (teenage) sensibilities. I came in with little expectations beyond having to write something about the book afterwards.

 Of course, that’s not exactly how it turned out. After many years and several Discworld novels, I find myself looking back and appreciating just how much that single novel I read in high school shaped my tastes in fantasy from the get go. As parodies go, the Discworld novels have always been the warmer kind, fantasy that laughs not at the cliches of the genre, but laughs with them, celebrating all the nonsense and absurdities that the fantasy genre has called its own. And while they have always had their own stories and setting, each novel Sir Terry wrote always had something more profound to say, whether it be about the nature of society to how the little wonders of life are significant in their own way. The stories were always about something, something that made them matter beyond just their humor and adventure.

 So what does it mean to me, directing something originally written by Sir Terry? As my second directing job it’s a daunting task to be sure, right from day one. Not only is the play a monumental effort from everyone involved (including Steven Briggs, the playwright who adapted the novel in the first place – and did an excellent job at it too!), Terry Pratchett also has a sizable (to say the least) fanbase, and I would hate to disappoint anyone who counts themselves among them. Of course, the realities of theater are what they are and practical concerns also need to be taken into account when casting and producing. But it’s the warmth, the wit and the playfulness of Pratchett that I want to bring to the stage. In the end, if I can get the audience to laugh alongside each other and with the cast and crew, I’ll count my job as one well done. Connecting with the audience and getting them to feel with the plays I do has always been my main objective, and despite the prestigious background and unique challenges of Guards! Guards!, I find my goals to be no different.

 And perhaps, in a way I’m just doing my part to carry on the legacy of that wonderful, wonderful man. As Pratchett himself said: “No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.”

 Noli Timere Messorem indeed.

Janne Andsten is an amalgamation of theatrical whimsy, nerdy ideas and lists of three. In his spare time outside of theater, he can often be found searching the corners of his mind for “the next big thing”, whatever that might be. And should that fail (as it often does), there are always puns as a backup plan.

Terry Pratchett®’s Guards! Guards!, adapted by Steven Briggs is Thespians Anonymous’ play for Spring 2016 in Gloria. For more information visit Thespians Anonymous’ webpage or the Favebook event.

 

March Production: Guards! Guards!

By Webmaster on February 19th, 2016

 

 

 

 

Physical Theater: The first workshop

By Anna.Olkinuora on February 10th, 2016

What happens when you take the words away from an actor (or any performer really) and ask them to tell a story without them?

 

In the first of the 4 workshop series of physical theatre, a room full of theatre enthusiasts kicked off their exploration in finding ways of conveying feelings, emotions and ideas with the body and, more importantly, through the body. The first half of the workshop focused on tuning into the body through guided improvisation and breath work and then went on to connecting into all the other bodies and energies in the room. The second part explored the relationship between sound and movement, finding ways one affects another.

As a facilitator and an observer, it was exciting to witness how quickly all twelve participants (or should I say explorers) connected to the work and one another. I would’ve never guessed we were all strangers to each other. All of my ‘instructions’ were met with a curious, open attitude, without over analysing the purpose of it. We even got little solo movement sequences done and shared them with the group, as well as a full on group improvisation that went on for a good quarter of an hour. It will be exciting to continue the work with Thespians Anonymous and welcome new energies in the group as well.

 

The next workshop will deepen the exploration between voice and movement. No experience (or attendance in the first workshop) of any kind is necessary. Just an open and playful mind and willingness to get out of the comfort zone is needed. As the point of these games and exercises is to bring out stories through the body, the participants can do as much or as little as they want. So those who have never tried physical theatre, but are curious about it, no need to worry that you’ll be thrown in the deep end!

 

Anna Olkinuora studied physical theatre at St Mary’s University in London and she will be sharing her knowledge and passion about physical theater in a series of workshops open for everyone interested in exploring his/her own body in relation to voice, movement and space.

Thespians Anonymous is an active, non-profit amateur drama group that aims to promote English language, culture and drama work in Finland. For more information about who we are and what we are doing visit Thespians Anonymous’ webpage  or follow us on our Facebook page.

 

 

 

Photo shooting: Myths and Legends (Part 3)

By Dimitra Spyratou on January 27th, 2016

The time for the third and last part of the photo shooting Myths and Legends has arrived. This time we present another member of the Olympian family, the goddess of wisdom, knowledge, arts and literature, Athena as well as a water nymph coming from the Slavic myth0logy named Rusalka.

 

According to mythology Athena, the daugher of Zeus, strang from her father's forehead in full armour.

 

 

Athens was brave and fearless, always ready to defend her home from outside enemies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rusalka, the soul of a young woman who died in the river and came back to haunt the waters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does she want? To lure young men, enchanted by her beauty, inside the deep water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A sweet song was enough to seduce any man and entrap them into the water. Even little children could not escape...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"She looks at him and brushes gently the hair and water off her arms. He shakes with fear and looks intently at her seductive, luscious charms" (taken from the poem Rusalka written by Alexander Pushkin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Photo credit: Anna Simoroshka Kruglaia

 

Thespians Anonymous is an active, non-profit amateur drama group that aims to promote English language, culture and drama work in Finland. For more information about who we are and what we are doing visit Thespians Anonymous’ webpage  or follow us on our Facebook page.

 

 

Photo shooting: Myths and Legends (Part 2)

By Dimitra Spyratou on January 11th, 2016

Here is the second part of the photo shooting “Myths and Legends”. This time we present a mother that had to bear with the fact the her beautiful daughter had to live with Hades, the god of the Underworld, for six whole months. Demeter and Persephone had to live apart accepting their fate.

Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, was the daugher of Cronus and Rhea.

Only when Persephone was not in the Underworld the Earth could wear her best clothes, ony then plants and flowers could grow!

Persephone, Demeter's virgin daughter, became the Queen of the Underworld after her abduction by Hades.

When Demeter realized that Persephone is disappeared she started looking everywhere for her!

 

Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and harvest.

 

Persephone was gathering flowers in a meadow one day when a huge crack opened up in the earth and Hades emerged from the Underworld

 

Demeter is often shown carrying a sheaf of grain.

 

Hades was convinced to surrender Persephone for one half of every year markingthe start for spring and summer.

 Photo credit: Anna Simoroshka Kruglaia

Thespians Anonymous is an active, non-profit amateur drama group that aims to promote English language, culture and drama work in Finland. For more information about who we are and what we are doing visit Thespians Anonymous’ webpage  or follow us on our Facebook page.