On Friday night we had a full house turn up to see the work of Sarah Peters ‘The Third Blister’. Directed by Sarah, three actors were chosen to narrate the intimate and challenging journey Sarah embarked on walking the Camino de Santiago – an 800km pilgrimage across Northern Spain earlier this year. With minimal amounts of props used, just plastic bags and lighting, the audience were taken on a ‘visually’ intimate experience that challenged the audience to consider notions of persistence, perseverance and physical and mental resilience. It was an honour to be able to share the night and watch this experimental work surrounding courageous vulnerability unfold in such a stunning way. We look forward to sharing more of Sarah’s work in the future.
1. What ideas are you examining though your exhibition at RAYGUN?
I had originally intended that Blister would also be a verbatim work, based on the experience of walking the Camino de Santiago – an 800km pilgrimage across Northern Spain. However, I returned after 6 weeks of walking without a single recording. This presented a new challenge for my playwriting practice. Instead of beginning the writing process with an immersion in recorded interviews, I have instead drawn on my own journals and embodied experience as stimulus for the narrative.
After writing 10mins of script for a play reading in June this year, I have focused my examination on the theme of courageous vulnerability. In that first reading there were three actors who took on multiple characters and presented a collage of stories. Still exploring the theme of courageous vulnerability, I wrote a longer version of the play in a different style for a second play reading – this time experimenting with realism and a unity in time, place and character. The performance at Raygun is the third public showing of my work in progress, and I have taken this opportunity to again experiment with my central theme and narrative by writing it in a different style and specifically for the Raygun space.
2. What are the ideas that surround your work/your practice?
The main ideas surrounding all of my work are curiosity, community and change – curiosity around people, their lives and experiences, their relationships with others, the way they respond in situations, what we can learn about the world through the ‘everyday’ of a character’s life. I believe that theatre and storytelling is a powerful way to engage with a community, share knowledge, entertain and create change. Whether that change be a shift in how we perceive a character from the start of a performance compared to the end, or a change in how we understand ourselves through the resonances and familiarities we witness in a performance.
3. What are your influences/other interests?
I used to tell my high school drama students that drama is about life, therefore everything in life is relevant in drama. I feel like it is the same in my theatre practice. I’m influenced by the work of playwrights I’m reading at the time (recently Alana Valentine and Dorothy Hewett), I’m influenced by my tribe of family and friends and the events in their lives, I’m influenced by my parallel practice of teaching – the students I teach, the content we are exploring, the learning that happens in a classroom or workshop – this work constantly provides stimulus for my theatre practice. Most recently I have had the opportunity to travel, and particularly to do a lot of walking. I have fallen in love with this slow mode of adventuring and am excited to do more.