~ is a cluster of projects by The PaperBoats all exploring the wonders of light, colour, music and the number 7.
The cluster includes:
- The Chrysalis Box (community project for 3-8 yr olds)
- Seven Little Wonders (in-theatre production for 3-8 yr olds)
- Wonder (with Sally Chance Dance for 0-3 yr olds)
- Sevenwell (a flexible, immersive performance and learning package for 3-8 yr olds)
The animating framework for these projects has been inspired by Sir Issac Newton’s discovery in the 17th Century that white light could be split into the colours of the rainbow using a prism.
Because seven was a magical and mystical number in those times, Newton imagined that he saw seven colours in the rainbow (ROY G BIV ~ red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet) which beautifully coincided with his observation that there are seven notes in the diatonic musical scale.
Newton conjectured that light, colour, music and sound are intrinsically entwined – and this has become the basis for our collective exploration.
The cluster of projects all feed each other through an exchange of ideas and technologies, whilst remaining independent and completely different in outcome.
CREATING A NEW WORK – SEVENWELL
There are lots of ways of making theatre, the most familiar being that a playwright will define a template for a show through a script.
At The PaperBoats, we go through two slow-brewing and collaborative theatre-making processes before we end up with “a treatment” for a show.
These are processes of embodied theatre-making that generate lots of content from an animating idea across 2 phases of development which we call the “discover” and “define” phases.
This is followed by the creation of “a treatment” which we call the “design” phase, which goes hand in hand with the fourth and final “delivery” phase, where the “treatment” gets realised as a performance outcome and associated activity.
Discover – research, training, responding to provocations, playing, making, accumulating content, naming it and listing it (18-24 months)
Define – searching for patterns, joining the dots, finding what sings, narrowing the palette, continuing to accumulate, finding a form within which to play further and deepen, working toward a “soft” treatment (6-8 months)
Develop – develop and play inside the “soft” treatment, jiggle, juggle, make, trial, arrive at a “hard” treatment (6-8 months)
Deliver – simplify, clarify, refine, rehearse and package the show in a way that generates interest and creates prospects for presentation of the work (6-12 months)
Seven7well – The Show
Conceived and Directed by Dave Brown
Conceived and Performed by Jon Bode
Content creation acknowledgement as specifically attributed > db = dave brown; jb = jon bode, jb+db = both
Background: Performer/Theatre-maker/educator Jon Bode working with Artistic Director/Theatre-maker, Dave Brown have completed the “discover” and “define” stages of a theatre-making process for the project entitled Sevenwell.
The “discovery” phase took place across an 18-month period and involved a deep dive into the animating idea resulting in the creation of lots of unbridled, whimsical content through play, tasks, improvisation, experimentation, investigation, making and research.
The content features a wide range of expression including stories, videos, graphics, art, songs, music, essays, design ideas, expressions of theatrical form and various combinations and permeations of these.
Slowly, this whimsically generated content along with ideas shared from the other projects in the Seventological.Wonderment cluster, fed the conceptual shape for Seven7well as we moved from the “discovery” phase into the “define” stage.
This involved imagining Jon as the solo performer in an immersive and participatory, mixed-media, music-theatre show for 3-8 year olds that uses live green screen video, prepared footage and video graphics to allow one iteration of Jon as performer on screen, whilst other iterations appear live on-stage.
Being onscreen allows the “story-maker”character, Sam, to present his seven characters live on stage in conversation with the audience and Sam, their “story-maker”, as they search for their purpose in the overarching narrative.
As we prepare the live-theatre version of the work, we will also envision and frame a package of associated experiences for both online and live engagement that support learning, exploration and self expression.
Setting up “The Conceit”
Hello … my name is Sam and I’m a story-maker and this is my story and because it is happening right here and right now, I begin it with the words …
ONCE UPON THE TIME OF NOW…
(Refering to his surrounds)
So … this …. is …..the night sky and it’s a special corner of the night sky, that is just for me.
Song Snippet - NIGHT SKY#1 I have a special place in the night sky It is an imagining place Where all ideas come from I call it the place of all music and colour
And in the night sky, I have a special friend.
Song Snippet - NIGHT SKY#2 Her name is Ultra Violet. She's the Star Queen Of the Night Sky. She can be Everywhere At the same time Because she can Travel faster than the speed of light.
She can be your friend too … you may already know her. She feeds your dreams both day and night – and seeds all sorts of curiosity and wonder and creates all sorts of fantabulousness … and incredibility!!!”
She’s looking for 7 children here on earth to be her star sprites…. her Sevenloogical Wonderment “Twinklers” – her little stars – spreading music, colour, light, dance and dazzle to all who are open to it….
Song Snippet - Little Star Little Star, Little Star How I wonder what you are Little Star, Little Star How I wonder what you are Somewhere over the rainbow There's a StarMan Waiting in the sky Little Star, Little Star How I wonder what you are
So to summarise – there is a story-maker – that’s me – who has his own special place the night-sky with his friend and the friend of all dreamers – Ultra Violet, the Star Queen of the Night Sky and together we forge in the furnace of a faraway star, the atoms of the characters who will appear in our story.
And so …
ONCE UPON THE TIME OF NOW…
… Star Man Sam and his six Doppelganger Doubles from the Land of Fandango were sent on a mission to earth by Ultra-Violet, the Star Queen of the Night Sky, to share the mysteries and powers of seventological wonderment with earthling children.
Song Snippet - Rainbow StarMan Somewhere over the rainbow There's a StarMan Sam Somewhere over the rainbow StarMan Sam's Doppelganger Double Gordon Oliver added on ... eg
(and later .. StarMan Sam's Doppelganger Double Special Agent Seven and ... StarMan Sam's Doppelganger Double Pierre Depardieu and Antonio Goldini, Neville Herbert, Paul McCarthy and magician yet to be named!!
Gordan Oliver bursts onto the stage in staggering 3 dimensional reality.
Song Snippet - Overnight Sensation C G A— When I became an overnight sensation F I converted a nation G To an appreciation of cooking with sevens C G A— And anyone who ever comes to dinner F Will be a winner G Cos cooking with seven results in delectable food, C E— F G Woh oh ho ho ho ho F G Don’t think of tomorrow G Cos I’ve got a recipe or every day of the week C E— G A— Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday, Saturday, Sunday G I’ve got a recipe or every day of the week F E— Every day, come what may, G F C I cook delectable food
It’s not rocket science! It’s really quite simple. If you will just be open to it. It’s a little bit funny and a little bit crazy … but you can sum it all up neatly with seven simple facts … that’s it!
So here it is in langauge as simple and as clear as I can make it.
The realm of Sevenwell is made up of a cluster of 7 parallel universes
Each Universe has their own Earth World just like ours.
For convenience, we number these Earth Worlds one to seven.
We live in the Universe of Earth World number 7.
In each Earth World at any particular time, there is a person who is physically identical to you, living a somewhat similiar but not identical life to the one you’re living.
We call these people our Doppelganger Doubles… DD’s for short.
And the last fact is … This knowledge is rarely shared.
AND That’s it. I mean really. It’s not that hard is it?
And just to prove my point; let’s do a little test.
Seven quick questions:
We belong to a cluster of 7 parallel universes.
What do we call this cluster?
Each universe has its own Earth World just like ours numbered one to seven.
What number are we?
At any particular time, in each world, there is a person who looks just like you ..