INTERNATIONAL AWARD-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT, SUE BEVAN, BRINGS HER INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED ONE-PERSON SHOW TO NEW YORK AFTER SUCCESSFUL RUNS IN BOSTON, CAPE TOWN, STOCKHOLM, PRAGUE, LONDON, EDINBURGH…
AN AUDIENCE WITH SHURL
MITF: SUMMER 2017
AT THE WORKSHOP, 312 W.36TH STREET, NYC
Performance Schedule: Tues 7/25, 6:00pm; Fri 7/28, 7:pm; Sun 7/30, 2:45pm
Y’know, I feel really small.
When I hear the stories of other lady-authors, I feel compelled to shout their stories as far as possible … and then some more!
AN AUDIENCE WITH SHURL draws upon Sue Bevan’s own experience of losing her child to adoption when, at the age of 15, she gave birth to her in a poor, tight-knit neighbourhood. Well, what’s a girl to do when, at just fifteen, she’s forced to give up her newborn for adoption? This tragicomic story is one to surely see!
Sue, what inspires you as an artist?
All kinds of things. I’m currently producing a play for which I won an international award, and that was inspired by published academic research on motherhood, but drawing also on my own experience and that of other women I’ve spoken with. Mum’s The Word has received fantastic audience response for the short preview tour in London and around the small island where I currently live, and Seren Theatre will be rolling it out more widely in a few months time.
I’m currently writing a two-hander exploring the complex issue if assisted dying, and that was inspired by a powerful documentary I saw a couple of years back. It’s a complex issue, and one involving national debate here in the UK. This play’s a love story in which the young husband is diagnosed with a terminal illness. I’ve written the romantic first half, but now the challenge is to move towards the death of a character I’ve grown to love. This writing lark is some emotional roller coaster!
But the award-nominated 4* solo show I’m bringing to New York and San Francisco draws significantly on my having grown up in a tight-knit community and sitting on my grandma’s knee hearing stories as a child. My Welsh culture runs deeply in my veins, and the piece is about belonging, loss and search for connection in an ever-shifting landscape.
In truth I find inspiration everywhere – overheard snippets of conversation, visual art, music, film, poetry, a stunning landscape or a scene of terrible destruction, a life story someone tells me… The creative spirit is in all of us, and if we can be open to it we will find our voice…even if it takes a little searching first.
Why independent theater?
I’m excited ti hear the answer from someone whose theater experience is worldwide.
This is so important in keeping new work alive and giving it the chance to be tested out and grow. By this I mean grow both in numbers of productions and in audiences, and also in artistic richness and quality. The diverse opportunities presented by the independent theatre sector mean that there are places to try things out on scratch nights, develop them in smaller experimental spaces, and then to launch in the right place to an audience interested in exciting theater addressing a range of issues. Independent theater can take risks. It’s not reliant on government funding and therefore censored or self-censoring, producing only ‘safe’ shows promoting the status quo and opiating us into complacency. It allows for edgy, challenging work which can take on the establishment, play with form, explore radical ideas. It provides places where we are reminded of just how essential the Arts are to our well-being, both individually and as nations. We have never needed independent theater more than we do today.