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Annie Lee

What

Experienced actor, creator and cabaret artist Annie Lee undertook a creative development for her new original cabaret theatre work, Lighthouse Berlin (previous working title was Dangling My Tootsies), developing the production from its beginning stages to an internationally tourable production. The creative development process included:

  • developing an existing first stage cabaret/theatre work into an internationally tourable sho
  • developing script and musical content
  • employing a director, lighting designer and audio visual artist to develop all creative elements of the production to an international standard
  • staging two showings of the production with audiences in order to gather critical feedback and film the work to create a marketing package for selling the show to venues and festivals.

When

January and February 2014

Poster for Lighthouse Berlin

Where

Merivale St Studio and QPAC Cremorne Theatre Brisbane

Arts Queensland contribution

$34,600 – Projects and Programs Fund

Outcomes

  • Script development: Through pulling apart and re-working the existing script, director Michael Forde and Annie Lee were able to inject a new energy and life to the story telling. By reworking the story in chronological order they found a natural arc to Agnes' life story that highlighted each new scene and gave a clarity and strength to the work. 
  • Art direction/visual elements: The collaboration between visual artist Sean Young and lighting designer David Walters yielded positive results. Sean Young created a highly intriguing visual set on which David Walters could produce his magic. The set was designed to be a lighting canvas that evoked an atmosphere of the 1930s cabarets, drawing inspiration from the works of the Dadaists and underground cabaret theatres of the Weimar period. David Walters created a layered narrative to the work using slide projectors and lithographic slides added to side lighting and Glasson bulb effects in the set. These effects combined to produce a highly evocative atmosphere that gave the show a greater depth and intrigue.
  • Direction, performance and musical direction: Sallie Campbell created a musical narrative for the show that was further coloured by John Rodgers on violin and Robert Davidson on Double Bass and clarinet. This seamless underscoring of the story offered the show a greater emotional depth and energy, greatly aiding and inspiring Annie’s performance of the work. Along with their musical commentary, the musicians developed characters to suitably fit the Weimar period. This added yet another layer to the show that worked in perfect harmony with the atmosphere of the piece and the audiences loved them. Working with Director Michael Forde was extremely rich and productive, and what was achieved together in the ultimate performance of the work was of high standard. 

Annie Lee on stage

Learnings and reflections

Annie shared the following reflections on the creative process: 

‘When I look back on the work on this project, I am most grateful to have had the funding and time to be able to work with such a wonderful team of artists. It's a rare and precious thing to share time collaborating with other artists in a supportive environment. To have had the funding to allow me this, I feel very fortunate. I am most warmed and gratified by this above all else. I have been so inspired, sharing my time with these highly talented people. This experience serves as a great reminder of the power of sharing your vision with other artists in the community, and what the team can make happen as a result. 

I've also learned how important it is to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. The goal posts are set and it is all systems go to see it manifest. I am reminded of how important this is to us artists, to be ever moving forward with our ideas and to maintain belief in them.

I would say it's really important to choose your team of creatives carefully. A team who gain inspiration from each other's input is highly valuable and the outcome a success. In my experience, the more experienced the individuals, the more relaxed, the more humble, and the more open they are about serving the desired outcome in a supportive energetic way working together as a team.’ 

Contact for further information

Email: tork32@yahoo.com

 

A pdf version of this case study (PDF) (416.26 KB) is available.
 

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