My current research involves working experimentally with a little known gem, The Tragedie of Mariam, by Elizabeth Cary. This is part of a larger Mariam Project which seeks to focus attention on this little known play through workshops and performances.
I’ve been working with the text in 2 different sites, exploring ways in which the atmospheres and layers of meaning influence and shape the ideas and images emerging from the text. Its been very exciting to have the space to explore this text, which is a thorny, slippery work, in many ways unlike any other writer I’ve come across and yet influencing, and influenced by, many more familiar voices. The play itself is important as its the first original play in Britain to be written by a woman.
Working as I am, using site as much as text as source and inspiration, the spaces I’m working in have been richly contributing to the process, and I’ve become more aware of how much so much of theatre, and of life, is influenced by the nuances of our direct environment, much of the time in ways which are barely conscious, but there and powerful nonetheless.
The Mariam Project rolls forward, with our next Mariam encounter happening at the Burford Festival, where Elizabeth Cary was born, where we’ll present a two part exploration of the play and ELizabeth’s own life, in the context of the town where she lived and the church she grew up close to. See my newest post for more information on this, and if you’d like to attend, tickets are available here: http://www.burfordfestival.org/Tickets.html