We are Madeleine Carter and Rebecca Feely, Australian and Irish theatre makers currently pursuing our Masters in Shakespeare & Creativity at the Shakespeare Institute.
Fury is a series of monologues based on Shakespeare’s characters that have been adapted into different modern contexts. Written, directed, designed, and performed by the MA Shakespeare & Creativity Ensemble.
As we have been doing the majority of our masters online, and our cohort was split in two for our last practical project, we didn’t really know each other very well before we took on this role together. Very quickly we realized we matched one another well artistically and we’ve yet to have a major disagreement over this project!
From the beginning, we talked through and approached everything as a team. We knew that as Artistic Directors we had to work closely with each creative department (including Producers, Designers, Writers and Directors) in order to create a piece that followed a clear visual and thematic language.
Writing was placed at the centre of this project, so each writer was free to explore the character they were really interested in. We had a wonderful writing workshop with Juliet Gilkes Romero who really encouraged our creativity and gave us great tools as we moved forward with our project. We collaborated with each Director to discuss their directorial decisions in relation to the overall piece, to ensure an overarching sense of ‘ensemble’, and also offer ongoing support.
Fostering a sense of ensemble online while working on monologues was challenging and so we really wanted to impart a sense of collaboration between the various creative teams and partnerships to create that feeling of ensemble.Our priority was to instill a sense of trust and consistency; a challenge with half the process on Zoom!
After our first full read through we had a conversation with the producers about the various themes that arose and connections between the monologues. We noticed that each character reflects a rage against the world and/or its injustices, thus the title “Fury”. It also brings to mind The Furies, the ancient Greek goddesses of revenge and as all of our actors identify as female, it really resonated with us. We then worked with the dramaturgs to order the monologues so that as the production progresses, we begin to see characters deal with their fury in more constructive or positive ways away from characters who are dealing with their fury in destructive ways.This was important to us because we want to leave our audiences with a message of hope.
Please join us for a showcase of new writing that brings to life Shakespeare’s characters in all their fiery, ferocious glory as we explore their worlds; including King John, Edmund, Lady Macbeth, Ariel… and they’re begging to tell their stories.
I understand a fury in your words (Othello 4.2)