Just a quick note to share the fantastic news that PressureLands has secured almost $16,000 of cash funding and a further $15,000 in-kind support towards Stage 3. More details on Stage 3 to come very very soon.

We’re just in the process of confirming artists and creative development details.

Will also hopefully have the chance to sit down and do some catch up blogging – including providing a link to the work in progress draft script.

In the meantime why not take a look at what we got up to during 2010’s Creative Development and the work in progress showing (we even had some blogs from the cast and other creative team!)

Here’s a rough cut edit from our work in progress showing that occurred on the 17th December 2010. The snapshot includes parts of the performance itself, thankyou’s and the interactive socializing part of the evening. Enjoy!

And feel free to share on facebook, twitter and other social media with a link back to the blog so people can find out more about the next stages of the project if they’re interested! Thanks.

For anyone who’s hanging about in Adelaide on Tuesday 15th February without too much to do, myself and some of the cast will be part of the Format Festival with an interactive workshop style PressureLands session

All the details below and you can share the details via our facebook event

There are 2 sessions (sessions will run for approx an hour) commencing at 2pm and 5pm. Maximum 20 participants per session!! Ring/text/email to book your place or first in best dressed at the door. 041 626 7391 or pressurelands@me.com

Description: Part how to/part collaboration/part exploration the PressureLands Interactive Workshop will explore the making of PressureLands, the themes of the project and where to from here. Pick …the brains of the creative team and be part of this project with heart. Explore this blog for more background on the project and what we were up to in 2010…

Where : Format Basement, 15 Peel street Adelaide

Check out page 5/6 of the Format Program

Big Thankyou to Miss Pamela Perre & all the Team at the Murray Pioneer for their continued support of the PressureLands project.

This article on the work in progress showing was in Yesterday’s Paper (Dated 7th January)

I write this rather belatedly – (it’s day 9 if that existed) as I’ve been running around crazily cleaning and returning equipment and handing out thank you’s.

Day 7 was our work in progress performance.


The day started like every other with warm ups from our visiting actor Luke Western. The cast & myself spent the day finishing off our set up of the space and our interactive stations for the WIP performance interspersed with run throughs of the WIP performance, notes, lunch, laughter and many special guests throughout the day including Bronwen Wade from ABC radio and my JUMP mentor Alison Howard. As crunch time approached the cast made themselves even more beautiful than usual and donned costume and decoration before a cast warm up led by Luke. I nervously watched the clock and finished wrangling with the printer for some last minute touches whilst peeking out the front to check for arriving audience.

And then it was time. Time to open the doors and trust that all would be whatever it was meant to be, which it was. Everything and more, the cast were humorous, heartfelt and gave me little tingles. Their performance was very very special, I then took to the stage for some thank yous where I was surprised by some beautiful flowers from the cast (which I still can’t believe they managed to hide from me so well!) before we led our audience into the interactive part of the evening. The vibe was amazing, so many positive and encouraging comments.
Here’s a selection from the feedback survey station:

What aspects of the PressureLands work in progress performance did you enjoy?

I enjoyed watching the kids perform – they were sure of themselves and enjoyed doing what they were doing.

Opening was unique (the welcome in from the sidewalk). Each person speaking a number of times. So much detail covered.

The opportunity for young adults to express some issues in a creative way.

I loved the involvement of young people!

The discussion of teenage (& older!) pressures & how they cope, or do not.

Very good. Good use of voice & space

I loved it. Great concept – the format worked well.

Anything you didn’t enjoy or understand?

A little lost when it first started out the front however that was most likely due to the wind making it difficult to hear.

It was totally brilliant.

NO!!!

What next? Many pressures around but what to do next?

What (if any) message did PressureLands leave you with? What would you tell others?

To listen to your children – sometimes I didn’t listen & expected too much from them.

Will tell others to see it.

Great work achieved by young people from the Riverland – as Alysha stated young people are a great un-tapped resource.

That we put so much pressure on ourselves and it’s good to let go!

That all people should have the experience & opportunity to be part of such a program.

Great insight into the lives of teens.

Other comments

Job well done to all the cast, especially the producer/director.

Stay in touch – let me know what I can do to help this project keep going!!

Very good, possible Fringe Product!

Well done alysha & cast.

We had such a supportive, generous audience and I felt very blessed and proud of the whole cast. More photos will appear on the blog soon.

Day 8 the cast and I came together for the last time this year to pack up, debrief from the week and talk about ‘where to from here’ for PressureLands (keep following the blog for all the details – we have an amazing, energetic and committed group of young people).

I asked the cast to share some thoughts from Day 7 and here they are in no particular order completely unedited….

Not sure what to write. Yesterday was a blur. But it was really good. Good job. 🙂

Highly successful week. I was impressed by the cast, they didn’t seem nervous but excited. They appeared like and experienced cast. Coming together for a group warm ups, people finally focused when it counted. Which I was a little worried about, we seemed to be a bit distracted. The performance went off without a hitch and talking to the audience and

Milly is awesome – all week

getting their feedback was fantastic. So was the FOOD!

WE should invest in a better professional. Hehehe. Smiley face.
Milly is awesome.. 🙂
PressureLands crew is awesome…Luke smells. I like green eggs and hams. Nic (Kung Fu Panda) is a good bus driver. PS. We are on time when Luke doesn’t come on the bus. Then we get Macca’s. Mwahahahah!

Performance really good! I believed it and believed what I was saying as everything I could relate to.

THANK YOU’S FROM ALYSHA

IN 2010 PRESSURELANDS HAS BEEN PART OF AND SUPPORTED BY MY JUMP MENTORSHIP. JUMP, THE NATIONAL MENTORING PROGRAM FOR YOUNG AND EMERGING ARTISTS IS SUPPORTED BY THE AUSTRALIA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS, THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT’S ARTS FUNDING AND ADVISORY BODY, THROUGH THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG AND EMERGING ARTISTS INITIATIVE. JUMP IS MANAGED NATIONALLY BY YOUTH ARTS QUEENSLAND IN COLLABORATION WITH STATE DELIVERY PARTNERS, INCLUDING CARCLEW YOUTH ARTS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

THE 2010 STAGE OF PRESSURELANDS HAS ALSO BEEN ASSISTED BY THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT THROUGH CARCLEW YOUTH ARTS ‘PROJECT AND DEVELOPMENT’ GRANTS AND BY THE REGIONAL ARTS FUND, AN AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE SUPPORTING THE ARTS IN REGIONAL AND REMOTE AUSTRALIA THROUGH COUNTRY ARTS SA.

A BIG THANK YOU TO COMMUNITY PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS RIVERLAND HEADSPACE (ESPECIALLY NARELLE FOR VISITING EVERY DAY THIS WEEK TO HELP US DEBRIEF AND TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES), RIVERLAND YOUTH THEATRE (FOR SHARING THEIR SPACE & STUFF WITH US), PRINT DNA, BERRI BARMERA YACU, WAIKERIE HIGH SCHOOL, GLOSSOP HIGH SCHOOL, LAMEROO REGIONAL COMMUNITY SCHOOL, CAMBRAI AREA SCHOOL, EAST MURRAY AREA SCHOOL, LOXTON HIGH SCHOOL, FOODLAND RENMARK (FOR SHARING THEIR TROLLEY)& LOCAL MEDIA – MURRAY PIONEER, ABC RADIO, RIVERLAND WEEKLY & WIN NEWS FOR THEIR COVERAGE OF THE PROJECT AND JUMP MENTORSHIP.

THANK YOU TO ALL THE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO SPOKE TO ME, WROTE TO ME, EMAILED ME, ‘LIKED’ ME, ‘TWEETED’ ME AND INSPIRED ME JUST BY BEING YOU.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU TO ALL THE CAST WHO HAVE MADE CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT AN ABSOLUTE JOY AND CHALLENGE AND FOR GIVING YOUR TIME, ENERGY AND SPIRIT SO BRAVELY. THANK YOU TO IAIN, SHAYLEE & WEEDY FOR THE GREAT SCRIBBLES, DRAWINGS AND OTHER IMAGES YOU’VE CREATED AND SHARED. SPECIAL THANKS TO LUKE FOR TRAVELLING ALL THE WAY FROM MELBOURNE TO SHARE YOUR SKILLS AND SENSE OF FUN WITH ALL OF US.

HUGE THANK YOU TO MY JUMP MENTOR AND FRIEND ALISON HOWARD FOR YOUR SUPPORT, ENCOURAGEMENT AND INSIGHT DURING MY MENTORSHIP AND FOR ALL THE YEARS I’VE KNOWN YOU. I COULD NOT HAVE CHOSEN A BETTER MENTOR.

SPECIAL THANK YOU TO MUM, DAD, NANNA, GRANDAD & MY BROTHER MICHAEL FOR THEIR SUPPORT AS BABYSITTERS, COUNSELORS AND COOKS, YOU HELP ME MANAGE THE REAL PRESSURELANDS.

AND TO NIC – PRESSURELANDS WOULDN’T EXIST WITHOUT YOU, THANKYOU FOR BEING A PERFORMER, OUR BUS DRIVER, TECH GUY, COOK, FUNDING PARTNER, SINGLE DAD WHEN NEEDED & FOR BELIEVING ABSOLUTELY AND ALWAYS IN MY VISION AND ABILITY TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

AND THANK YOU TO YOU – THE AUDIENCE – PERFORMANCES DON’T HAPPEN WITHOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU BRING TO WHAT THE PERFORMERS OFFER. THANK YOU FOR SHOWING YOUR SUPPORT OF ME, THIS PROJECT AND MOST IMPORTANTLY THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF THE RIVERLAND & MALLEE, WHO ARE ONE OF OUR GREATEST ASSETS.

I’m now going to disappear for a few days to take care of myself and my family with a mini break but I’ll be back soon to share photos, footage, stories and ideas from PressureLands so far details on how you can be involved in Stage 2 of PressureLands in 2011.

With Deep Heart

alysha

Hello, hello! Weedy here, bringing you a fun filled report on today’s PressureLands development day 6. Enjoy!

Today I was woken up by a phone call from Luke and Tubby. They thought I was Brianna and told me to get out the front, because they were waiting for me (her). So, that wasn’t very fun. I think I might call them at six tomorrow morning… Just for fun 😉

When I woke up for the second time, I felt really great. It could have been because I gave myself an extra half an hour to sleep in, or it could have just been excitement. But, like I said, I felt great. Also a little bit of information that’s completely irrelevant but I thought was funny. Both myself and Kait had noodles for breakfast.

The random question of the day: What is your biggest fear and why? My answer was the dark because I can’t see everything around me so my imagination runs wild and I get a little creeped out.

The warm up, as usual, was run by Luke and was as good as ever. I really like the humming exercises and the fact we play games for our physical warm up.

I get such a good vibe from the PressureLands group. Even if I get on the bus in the morning feeling a little bit crap, I know as soon as we get to the hall, everything will feel alright. We’re all so honest and accepting of eachother, which I love.

Also, today, we went out to the park and did some script reading there. It was a nice change. I like being outside on days like these. Not cold, not too hot. Just nice. And especially being outside, running through lines, with great people. It’s just really special.

Lunch was great also! Everyone except myself, Shaylee and Luke went out to buy some extra supplies. So us three just sat in the kitchen talking about how dip is an ‘old’ peoples food. It’s was a nice bonding session. Lunch always is a great time for bonding.

After lunch we set up some stations in the second half of the hall for the audience to do different activities. Such as: Write a letter to PressureLands and write down a hope and fear.

I absolutely love the crew. Go team!
Weedy x

Thanks Weedy – take a look at some of Weedy’s beautiful PressureLands logo ideas – she’s a very talented lady (aswell as performing, painting,drawing, she also plays guitar, uke and writes songs!)

Another guest post, this time we’re going back in time (only to yesterday though!) with guest blogger Nic Tubb, aswell as being a performer, Nic is also our very helpful tech guy and bus driver. Thankyou for sharing Nic.

Day 4

Today started at about 7:00. Get up, shower, breakfast, d r i v e to Waikerie and back. Late again, but we’ll get there.

I’ve begun writing down random ideas that I think of based on the stuff we do throughout the day.

Things that might or might not be relevant for this project, but stuff that wants to come out.

But I’ve found it really useful to try and define in words my feelings of pressure and examples of pressure from my own life.

There’s a few things about myself I’ve discovered along the way.

Today we got scripts! Yay! I like scripts especially as they were based on the actual letters that alysha got from her group sessions so they are really the words of the community. But she’d also included some of the little skits we’d done inspired by the letters, hopes and fears.
While I thought the script was good and did reflect what the community has said, I felt that something was missing from it. A voice that wasn’t represented and I began thinking about pressure as a good thing. “A force that makes something happen” – one of the definitions given by the school groups – does not say that pressure is a bad thing, just that it makes stuff happen. Good stuff / Bad stuff? I Still haven’t come up with a useful concept but it’ll come.

Today we also were asked to create miniature physical PressureLands using spare boxes, spray paint, pipe cleaners, googly eyes and a bunch of other craft things. I HATE THIS KIND OF THING! I either have no idea about where to start; or worse, I have an idea that I like and everything I do to get it from my head to tangible existence just fails. But PressureLands has been a place of challenges and I did have an idea about what PressureLands looks like to me and although not my preferred medium, I enjoyed the chance to materialise my ideas. I started with the idea in my head but it took about 6 minutes for me to fail at creating what I had in my head. I got sad.

Then I got over it and picked up another box to try again. When I sat back down, I noticed my new box rattled. There was something inside my box. I was curious, but it occurred to me:

NO ONE knows what is inside

I had caught PressureLands in my box. You can’t ever actually see it but you can feel it’s there; just like the wind.

Here’s the lowdown on Day 5 of Creative Development from another guest blogger Luke Western who also happens to be a visiting artist from the little town of Melbourne helping the cast do fun & challenging things this week.

Firstly I missed the bus and didn’t know if anyone was home so I did the dishes for my lovely hosts. I then started to get worried around 8.15 and called Alysha. She was sleeping in her room but within half an hour we were ready and away.

Everyone arrived for the first time on time and I was unsure where Alysha was (not that I really looked) so I got started on my warm ups. Some gentle humming and stretches, some articulation and breathing exercises. Then I started something a little different. I added some improv exercises we played LOW (location, occupation, weapon) which seemed to go well as I was asked to play it again tomorrow. I also played type writer. It went ok but not fantastically well. Emotional bus we played twice with great results. Enjoyed it so much we played it twice.

We started running our script, confirming the way we do ‘dear pressurelands’ and finishing a full run/read through. We had some photos taken and some people had a chat with Pam from Murray Pioneer.

We then had lunch DELICIOUS! some noodles, warm chicken, some questionable movie chatter and teasing vegetarians…Hehe… Oh and some fantastic videos from YouTube (best way to bond). We then received our 2nd draft and ran through that whole draft. We were then allowed to help with lighting, be interviewed about PressureLands or film some YouTube videos. We filmed Iain’s smoking part of the play and we made a short news program. I was Ted Sion, Iain was Peter Sure and Jess was just Jess doing the sport and interviewing Teri the male football coach. Jess was also the weather girl and the human interest reporter. Ted Sion was our anchor and Peter being our finance guy. We didn’t quite get to finish but we did a news crew photo shoot and then moved on to another couple of runs of the play. We got to start playing and reacting with the script. I absolutely love doing this, so I really enjoyed this part of the day.

Today was a good day. I felt good about how the warm up went as well as how the showing is coming together. Hopefully we can gain a bit of an audience. Here’s hoping.

I love you guys and girls.

Go team!

Luke

Thanks Luke. Here’s some of the cast in a photo taken by Pam from the Murray Pioneer (Local Riverland Newspaper)

Ahoy there, and low behold Day 3 of Creative Development week for Pressurelands, brought to you by your guest blogger Shaylee Actually.

The majority of our 2010 cast was present, with some of us only meeting each other for the first time. Todays ensemble including: Brianna, Weedy, Jess, Iain, Milly, Shaylee, Nic, Kait & Terri.

I feel that we have a great sense of comfortability within our group, its a friendly dynamic that makes group work really enjoyable, especially with a teenage age group, & this has just been built upon from the previous day. The ‘In’ jokes are already beginning to develop…

Despite the fact that I was forgotten by Nic on the pick up list on the Pressurelands bus, the day started well. We went around in a circle with the cast introducing each other, yelling out obscure facts that we knew about each other, ‘This is Bri, and she’s 18 and one day old’… ‘This is Shaylee, & she’s very forgiving (when it comes to being forgotten)’ and getting to know each other.

Our visiting actor & now accepted member of our teenage brat pack Luke Western led us in a warm up. I don’t think there is ever going to be a time that I will not find doing a spinal roll to be comforting.

From there, we then presented our ‘This is me’ homework of bringing a story/presentation/personal thoughts on how we felt or described how pressure does or has effected us. This really varied from playing songs; Kevin Devine’s ‘Ballgame’ & Paramore’s song ‘Pressure’. Talking about personal stories, things that we had experienced, how we felt our friends, school and family effects, & helps contribute to our experience of pressure. & debated whether or not it was ours or other people’s expectations that mattered more. All of which developed into a sharing session, finding similarities and differences, debating ideas.

This I think helped to bond the group together, supporting each other in our brave and vulnerable moments. All were very generous in their sharing, & I think the group as a whole, are in the midst of the realization that this is a special group, as they are being appreciated, supported, and encouraged to do and talk about things that scare them or make them uncertain. This friendly culture is something that I have always adored about working on devised performances, & its very precious to have been able to find it again.

Below I have a attached a very phone quality of my Pressurelands maths equation, this concept originally came from a thought bubble that etched onto a napkin during my year 12 year during a lunch/study period, probably during SWOT VAC in mid year exams. This I have elaborated and polished slightly, and I presented as my ‘This is me’ story to the group.

Then after this, we had to go on a field trip to collect cardboard boxes, before we could eat lunch. The reason that we had to get these cardboard items, has still not been disclosed, regardless of this they were utilized in great leaps of immaturity well in the lunch break as we attempted to make a giant tower of boxes. Tomorrow we find out, what exactly we are supposed to be using these boxes for, stay chuned.

From there, we read a selection of the letters that were addressed to Pressurelands, which had been written by young people from all over the Riverland Mallee region. To gauge our reading aloud abilities but also to get a great sense of the project as a whole. These letters varied from heartfelt letters written at 4am, to short tales about how fruit boxes can be threatening in terms of pressure, and to the quite hilarious but brutally honest & authentically awkward & misspelled words of teenage boy ‘I hate school, F*ck all the teachers’.

This activity i particularly liked, as alot of the content that is normally categorized under ‘Things we don’t understand and definitely not going to talk about’ was being revealed to us, in a way that was safe, all coming from the collective reading the anon voices. I think its always a nice reminder to know, that we’re not isolated or alone in our strange fears & awful feelings, this reminder always manages to come at me with a surprise. There is also something strangely powerful about hearing something that you had written, being read aloud by someone else, its like that your feelings are not only validated, but also even appreciated, in the fact that maybe someone else has experienced something similar. You can un-attach it from yourself, & view it as something that is growing into a piece of art.

From reading these letters, we spilt off into small groups of two’s and three’s, working to create interesting performances from these letters, experimenting with the different ways that we could deliver it as a performance. After working on these, we all did a show and tell, and then talked as a group about what we liked, about each others performances, what worked, what didn’t, what we struggled with. From this is growing bits and pieces that we will be performing for the Working Progress showing thats coming up.

We then had 2 visitors from Riverland Headspace, to help us debrief from our day, but to also to offer us extra support, as this project does revolve and explores issues that effect mental health issues for youth, its important to know & to have access to counseling services if any issues were to arise.

The day was busy and productive, full of bad jokes, tears and falling cardboard boxes. It feels fantastic to be able to be involved with a project that I believe in, especially one thats in my home town.

Over and out homebres.

Shay

Well here we are after the first day of the Creative Development Week (Day 2 of CD in total) – wow it’s going to be a big week!

Today was spent getting to know each other, reading through some of the community consultation materials (including another check in with the hopes & fears – don’t forget to share yours by emailing pressurelands@me.com).

With most of the 2010 ensemble present today it was an active, loud & productive day!

Brianna, Weedy, Jess, Iain, Milly, Shaylee, Nic,& Kait were all present from our ensemble with our visiting actor Luke Western arriving just in time for lunch and Brianna’s birthday cake!

The cast worked from some sample scene inspirations and created 3 very different experiences from the one piece of text exploring the motif of water & the idea of ‘crossing the border’ into pressurelands.

The cast were also given a small movement exercise from written stimuli which was quite challenging but produced some interesting and thought provoking material.

See below for some of my personal notes from the ides generated today – I’ll leave you with it because it’s past midnight and I need to get some sleep ready for day 3!!

Personal Day 2 Script Ideas & Notes

Lots of Letters to PressueLands read in the foyer and woven through the show.
PressureLands voice over Advert.
Matt & Dale discussing PressureLands.

What if they’re all played by multiple characters?
Shaylee & Nic’s hands creating the boat together – could we practise that enough to actually make a boat? Or something else for that matter…..
Dale writes a letter to PressureLands

What if PressureLands is the teenage Santa? Or a company like Skynet. What is PressureLands – a company that teenagers must be registered with, a religion? One that asks them to confess to be forgiven? What are the rituals of PressureLands?
Group Prayer? The Penguin Race. Every time the music starts – a priest of PressureLands. (so the girl that stands up alone – is she rejecting or conforming?)
Living in little boxes. Writing Letters to PressureLands trying to get permission to leave the boxes.

Dear PressureLands,
I think I’m losing it. Like really actually losing it. But how do you know?
I keep seeing this little girl every time I leave the house, she keeps following me around, but the thing is no-one else can see her. And she knows stuff, stuff about me, my family, my friends,

As the letters are read – each cast member adds them to the in tray until it’s so full it’s overflowing.

Starting in the boxes – sharing the lines from one of the stand out letters from CC. Doing the penguin race in the boxes. Everyone the same. Everyone copying the person with the ‘power’. Person with the paper dons make up – everyone else dons makeup. Does homework, everyone does homework. During penguin race when everyone else says hello to the queen someone steps from the box and instead says ‘hello, my name is ______ and shares about themselves as themselves, genuinely as we’ve done in the sharing circle.

Last letter – read at the end of the play.

Enter WIP – A reading PressureLands letter in the ANZAC foyer inside a box.
Audience enter space and are seated. Cast dispersed throughout the audience space except J who starts on stage – at a desk??
B reads letter to PressureLands – takes letter and puts it in the ‘In tray of J and then enters box.
J & I & H boxing – All of them boxing in unison. – with monologue of being compared to siblings – (To be Written)

Once everyone has ended up in the box – (J) once her in box is full – they begin copying everything that A does (kind of like Simon Says)

A- Entrance Monologue

I am Pressure. I am each ripping, soaring deeply throated shame on you. Do more, be more, feel more, want more, change more, create more. All and everything you ever have been and ever should be…..They all keep writing letters, word swimming on layers of paper thin skin. Dear PressureLands – please fix my life, Dear PressureLands, things are going really great. Dear PressureLands, I couldn’t imagine life without you, Dear PressureLands I’m really not coping so well.

Last Letter
Dear PressureLands
There are many pressures that are put upon us teenagers, there’s pressures within school, friends, family & sports.
Some people can handle these pressures, i am one of those people but others are not as lucky. Some crumble under pressure, they get depressed when problems occur. I have seen this happen.

Don’t forget to email your favourite recipe to pressurelands@me.com!

Look out for some guest blogging from our ensemble coming soon!!

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