Far from Home but Close to the Bone

Posts tagged “Science Fiction

Event Details and We’ve gone Social!

The event details are up and running for our Summer Season! Get them while they’re hot!

Cuckoos and Chrysalides: 14th-16th August at the London Welsh Centre, 7:30pm

Cuckoos

SUM: 28th – 30th August at the Etcetera Theatre 

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GOING SOCIAL ON TWITTER

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@starsormars

On Wednesday and Friday, we have #WednesdayWonder and #FridayFindings

These will be put up on the site as well!

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New Year’s Party and New Season!

New Year’s Day, Stars or Mars Time, was celebrated on the 9th May! As a fresh and excitable one year old, we reminisced over the past and made plans for the future over cocktails and crepes!

Stay tuned for more updates! The earliest plans are to update our media and social presence, as well as announce our new Summer Season!

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SUMMER SEASON OF STARS OR MARS


On June 1st, 2015 at Hackney Attic, we have RESPAWN

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Who knew immortality would be such a hard sell? In this new world, uploading consciousnesses has become a game changer. Everything we believed about time, personality and character is now under threat. In Respawn, we follow a set of characters who are dealing with their multitude of pasts and futures, as well as prejudices from the present. When you can live forever, can you really escape your past and reputation?

from http://www.remotegoat.com/uk/event/201301/respawn-the-play/

Our hashtag for the play is: #Respawn


Cuckoos and Chrysalides
:
 August 14th – 16th at the London Welsh Centre
Cuckoos

Set in the near future, we follow the struggles of Caitlin, a woman who has preserved her children’s consciousnesses to be downloaded at a time where she feels ready. As the virtual space becomes cramped and contested, she must fight the system with her mother.

On the other side of reality lies the consciousness of an astronaut who was killed in her mission. Will she ever find her team? Will she manage to be brought back to life – and if so, at what cost?

Our hashtag for C+C: #cuckoostheplay

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UMAugust 28th-30th at the Etcetera Theatre
sum front cover

Set in the far future, we follow the lives of six women who have become assimilated into the hivemind; changing the way we see birth, life, death and love. Who will benefit and who will suffer from this new technology? What would the reasons be for connecting and how far will the individual be compromised?


SUM
the play is back, following a run at the Bread and Roses Theatre in Clapham last year. 

Our hashtag for SUM: #sumtheplay

Fringe Booking Details are coming soon! Thank you to the Hackney Attic and the Camden Fringe for supporting SF Theatre!

Thanks also go to BSFA  (British Science Fiction Association), who posted the news of our upcoming season here.


What’s New?

We are delighted to announce that we have not one, but two shows in development for this year!

1) RESPAWN
logoWe are taking the stage at the Hackney Attic with our show called RESPAWN! The play follows two identities trying to find peace with their pasts and present, which has been drastically changed through the process of uploading consciousnesses. Can they prove that immortality doesn’t have to be a hard sell?

 

 

 

 

 

2) SUM

sum front coverSUM is coming back in August 2015! The play on hiveminds and individuals will be taking the Etcetera Theatre stage as part of the Camden Fringe! Stay tuned for updates.


New Year, New Show!

CuckoosandChrysalidesIt’s already a month through 2015 and Stars or Mars are preparing for a new show!

We are proud to present the play Cuckoos and Chrysalides – out from April 7th-11th at the Bread and Roses Theatre, Clapham.

The Synopsis is as follows:

Cuckoos and Chrysalides depicts the story of a woman who is preserving her children to the time she feels right by uploading them.

Her mother is helping her against the social backlash as the space to upload is becoming contested by many sources.

Who will get the space and who is in control?

We’re really looking forward to this one!

The site will be up soon. In the mean time, if you’d like to be ahead of the pack, tickets are sold here.


SUM – Updates!

sum front coverSo SUM is out and it’s been an absolute whirlwind of a time! We’ve already been half way through our run – and we’ve got three more days to go (4th, 5th and the 6th December). You can buy tickets here.

I want to thank my lovely cast and crew: Eleanor Russo, Briony Wyatt, Lydia Kay, Meli Crossey, Chris Callow Jr. and Lucy Ann Harrison, for making this wonderful vision and dedicating your time, passion and energy to the project! I also want to thank JB for his design wizardry and Tom Wilson for his recording skills!

I also want to thank Playdead Press for publishing the playtext and producing this beast of a cover (it’s absolutely beautiful!)

 

We also have an amazing review from Prof Adam Roberts – you can check it out here. Do have a look at his blog in general for his critical wizardry!

Later this year (not much of it left!), I will update everyone with hopes and plans for Stars or Mars, 2015!

See you there!

Susan


A New Play is Heading our Way!

Sum logo

Good news – SUM, our latest play, will be hitting the stage at the Bread and Roses Theatre in November and December!

The blurb is as follows:

A world that will change the concepts of self, of others, of love, of death…

This is just the pilot.

Following the pioneering technology of the new hivemind, we follow the stories of three women in their experiences of this new life. Who will thrive and more importantly, who will survive?

I’ll keep you posted on the details and rehearsal process and so on. In fact, I’m planning on making a post after each production we do with lessons I’ve learnt for next time!

In the meantime, the link for tickets is here: http://www.breadandrosestheatre.co.uk/the-whats-on.html


LonCon3 and Camden Fringe!

loncon3-mini-logoAugust is one of those months where the SF world and the Theatre world are hives of frantic, buzzing, beautiful energy – there’s no better time to celebrate the collision of these great dimensions than now! Loncon 3 has rustled up some theatrical treats for the huge convention coming up – you can see the line up here: http://www.loncon3.org/events-theatre.php

There are also panels for SF Theatre on Saturday 16th August.

At 12-1pm, there is a Genre on the Stage Panel with Neil Williamson, Tajinder Hayer, Erin Horakova, Jeanne Beckwith at the Capital Suite 5 (Level 3) from 12-1pm, discussing all things SF/Fantasy on the stage from Shakespeare to present.

I will be on the panel for Staging the Fantastic on Saturday 16th August:

Staging the Fantastic
Capital Suite 16 (ExCeL)
Sat Aug 16th, 6pm – 7pm

Erin M. Underwood, Susan Gray, James Patrick Kelly, Geoff Ryman, David Wake
Is this a golden age for genre theatre? On both sides of the Atlantic, fantastical theatre has seen notable successes in recent years – from ‘blockbuster‘ productions at the National Theatre of His Dark Materials and the original Tori Amos/Samuel Adamson musical, the Light Princess, to smaller, thought-provoking independent work from groups such as The Alchemist Theatre Company, Unlimited Theatre, Luna Theatre Company, and the BFG Collective. Earlier this year, Stage the Future was the first international academic conference on SF theatre; and the forthcoming anthology Geek Theater collects genre theatre by numerous playwrights and other SF authors. So what are the challenges and opportunities of putting SF and fantasy on stage? How does SF theatre use special effects, which are so central to other forms of visual SF? And how is the audience for SF theatre growing and changing?

For all you Lon-conners, it would be great to see you there!

I will also have some copies of Notes from Other Worlds (my SF monologue collection) available to buy, which is being published by Playdead Press!

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After the convention will be our stint at the Camden Fringe! Terra Firma, our PA play, will be at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden:

You can find out more about Terra Firma here.

We’ll be on from the 18th-20th August, from 6:30 to 7:30pm

Tickets are £9 (£7 concessions)

To buy online, click here.

So all in all, an exciting month! 🙂

Susan


GLIMPSE of the Future – It begins!

So the first meeting of GLIMPSE of the Future collaboration was on Monday 30th June – discussing ideas between artists and futurists with which we can stage future scenarios both good and bad – so that the dialogues discussed will exist well beyond the final curtain. With Science Fiction Theatre, there is something about the liveness of the activity, the embodiment of a world between performers and audience, the reliance on language, gesture and sound to bring these concepts to life – and it’s something I want to emphasize with GLIMPSE.

Why GLIMPSE, you ask? I came up with this acrostic that sums up our collab quite nicely: Gauging Live Investigations into Mindful and Plausible Speculative Events. What’s exciting about this stage in the project particularly is that starting almost from tabula rasa enables us to explore and roam freely into any area we feel like (within reason, of course), but with that there’s always an element of fear and risk. It’s those feelings that can be comparable to thinking of the far future.

In our first meeting, we discussed events in the next 50 years – how certain concepts would be defined, how would we see ourselves as individuals and how would our interactions change? How would our next generations be educated – and how could we continue to become educated and empowered in later life? What would empowerment even mean? What would enhancement entail – and what would be the costs of these? How could we be happy in the future? How will people be self-sufficient? Would we update our concept of normality?

These discussions were just the tip of the iceberg, as is this photograph of one of our brainstorming sessions:

 

GLIMPSE meeting, 30th June 2014

GLIMPSE meeting, 30th June 2014

 

I’m looking forward to our next meeting – thank you everyone for getting involved!

 

Susan


To the Archives!

When I visited the Liverpool Archives of Science Fiction (which is co-incidentally, a fascinating resource, and would recommend those with a passion in the subject to visit it when you can), there were so many sources I wanted to look up – especially the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool and Ken Campbell’s legacy. I also wanted to read Samuel Delany’s article “Flow My Tears…: Theater and Science Fiction”; in Issue #1, NYSF September 1988 in its entirety – I’ve seen it quoted in Staging the Impossible: The Fantastic Mode in Modern Drama, where the following quotation is used: 

…there are no closeups to convey the intricacy and coherence of detail that suggests the greater world outside the frame, the world beyond the proscenium. (p13)

However, it’s not all woe. This following statement from his article really echoes what theatre practitioners are doing (and have done) and that is using the medium to its strengths, rather than emulating film and television. We need production strategies specifically for genre theatre to get the best possible result:

When these problems are solved, the work will strike the knowledgeable as both more than SF and other than theatre – because the whole set of framing exceptional conventions will have to be largely adjusted…only then can a dramaturge really put his or her energy into them, the proper framing devices and imagistic modes in the pursuit of whatever scenic reality, that does not pull the material back into this old, old form. (p15)

Well said, Delany. We need to hold dialogues (which has been going on, but not nearly where it needs to be) on how this can be done, has been done, and will be done. 

I had the fortune to find transcripts and so on of SF theatre that has gone on before, with examples of how, in my opinion, it should and shouldn’t be done. Stay tuned!

 


Camden Fringe!

If you didn’t already know, the Camden Fringe has released their lineup to the eager public, also unveiling their beautiful Shakespearian pigeon, both fowl and fair!

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We’re delighted to see Terra Firma in the listings – it feels all the more real! We’re on the tail (feather) end of casting, so the real fun begins when the rehearsals start! I’ll be blogging the RnD process throughout as well as other snippets we find along the way.

Our link for tickets can be found here: http://www.camdenfringe.com/detailact.php?acts_id=445

Do check out the shows – the Fringe starts on the 28th July – 24th August so they’ll be plenty to whet your appetite!

Many thanks to the Camden Fringe for welcoming us to this great festival!