Hi all, it's Abi writing to say...WE DID IT! Three sold out shows and two weeks of recovery later, I am finally getting the chance to sit down and reflect. I am incredible humbled by the team of people who worked with me on this project. It was the first project of it's kind I have ever been involved with and to take something in my head and turn it into something I could share with other people AND to get to do that with some of my closest friends is definitely most mind-blowingly amazing. I am so proud of everyone and what we created together and again, I am so humbled to get to work with such incredible artists and humans. Thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way and to everyone who came to support us on the night(s)! I think the most fun I had during this project outside of actually performing were the conversations about the work I had in the days that followed. What am I saying, it was all fun!
Want to make a special horizon announcement! Our very own and very loved Liz Butler is going to be putting in an application for the TAHI festival happening in October. TAHI is a festival for solo shows and Liz is going to be making a show based on the incredible life of her grandmother, who passed away just at the start of our show. She is dearly loved and greatly missed. We are so excited to support Liz on this journey to make what is going to be an incredible show. I won't say anymore because I think she will be writing a post about it herself sometime soon but if you see her give her some lovveeeee and if you don't drop a loving comment for her!
Hope you all are well, feeling healthy, being kind to yourself and others, taking a stand when you need to be and sharing your gratitude for the things that support you and bring you joy. What's bringing me joy today is honey and pecans, the album Mandinga Times by Rita Indiana, and knowing I am about to go home and share some mescal with my flatmates.
I know we haven't had the chance to update you on how the show went, and I promise it's coming, but I need to write this post first. I am opening and ending this post with the artwork of NZ-based artist Ruby Jones because I don't have a better way to express how I am feeling.
I want to take some space to acknowledge something that has been with us since the beginning of this project and that is Charlotte Perkins Gilman's history of racist works. While she was an incredibly forward thinking feminist and The Yellow Wall Paper has long been lauded as an important work of early feminist literature, she also wrote works that are racist. We acknowledged this in the handouts that we gave out with our show and several people have reached out wanting to know more. Not being an expert I suggest you start with her Wikipedia page for more information. When I was introduced to this story in school, this other part of her history was never mentioned and it was only when I was doing research for this project that I came across it, which is wrong but sadly not surprising. After many conversations it was something we decided to go ahead with as a team for Fringe knowing we would continue to address this history as we made the project and beyond. Now we are preparing to open up this discussion with more people and more expertise. We are organizing a literary panel to critically examine the complicated relationship we all may hold with works of art, their creator, and the history of both. This is a very important and personal step for us as artists engaged with a work by this author and I hope you come on this journey with us. Please share your own experiences and any related questions or thoughts you have had.
March 15th marked the two year anniversary of the terrorist attacks in Christchurch on the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre. Yesterday a man shot and killed 8 people in Atlanta Georgia, 6 of whom were Asian-American. Racism, islamophobia, sexism, hate and harm in whatever form it comes in is deadly and it is something we all need to combat in our world, whenever, wherever and however we can. See and hear people as whole beings with unique stories struggles and joy. To everyone who has been hurt by this hate here in New Zealand and around the world, in the words of Ruby Jones
"This is your home and you should have been safe here".
Abi and the team from Yellow Cat Collective
Kia ora kittens! Oh myyyyyy... guess who is very tired? Us! Guess who comes home from every rehearsal so excited they can’t sleep at night? Also us! We are so close to show time so it’s been go go go time for the team. We are running rehearsals twice a day every day and painting and singing and surviving on coffee and chocolate and lentils.
We did take time out from this busy week to do a photo shoot with the very talented Ali Little! She was so kind and in addition to a photo shoot also ended up lending us a light. Thank you Ali! Everyone, together now, thank you Ali! We will get those photos up here soon, the it will probably be after the show.
We are also excited to announce that we are almost sold out! Only 4 tickets are left across all of the nights. Not to worry though, if you miss us this time we will be performing again at the Katherine Mansfield House in July and again at Verb Festival Wellington in November.
Thank you to our amazing team for making it all happen. Most of us also have day jobs so it’s certainly been a grind! Thank you to everyone who has bought tickets or even thought about buying tickets. It’s been an amazing journey for us and we are so excited to get to share it with you very soon.
Follow your dreams, be kind to each other, drink lots of water and we will see you soon
Abi and the whole team from Yellow Cat Collective
We are getting very close. I am oscillating between bliss and ‘oh my we’ve really gone to far this time!’ But everyday we get closer, I get more excited and I think that is a very good sign.
On Monday Ellen (who will dance the woman in the wall) and I (Abi, the unnamed narrator, hi!) had the opportunity to workshop some of our dance sequences with Eliza Sanders. Eliza is an amazing choreographer and cofounder of House of Sand. I have watched and loved her work for years now so it was awesome (and at first kinda scary!) to get to be in the same room as her working on something we are creating! She helped us take our work to another level, and we are going to use our time very wisely and practice heaps to take it to the next-next level! It’s going to be amazing everyone we won’t let you down, because if we did this city is small enough we would probably have to see you on the streets and that wouldn’t do at all.
But on a serious note making this show has been a chance to work with some of my best friends and heroes and I couldn’t be more grateful.
I'm off to rehearsal with Liz Butler right now, but this is a perfect time for you to check out the amazing work Eliza does and to follow this link to fringe.co.nz to get your tickets to our show. They are selling out fast (I hope) so grab a few before it's too late. Bring your mom, bring your best friend, bring your first date, invite your arch-nemesis and discover really you are meant to be lovers. Or just let us terrify them for you :)
Also follow us on the socials!
FB Yellow Cat Co
WELL WELL WELCOME! To the first offical Yellow Cat Co/Yellow Wallpaper blog post! Whaaaa? Yea I know, here's your jaw, it's happening. Today, currently, it is the day time and many of our lovely performers are at work doing their day time jobs. I am on my kitchen couch also at work, working to bring you exclusive and beautiful YCC content! HUZZAH!
Tonight we will assemble for Yellow Wallpaper rehearsal! We have been fortunate to rehearse in the performance space which is the incredible Inverlochy Arts School. It is a stunning relic of time's past and certainly conjures a spooky feeling. A "what might be lurking in the shadows" kind of feeling - absolutely superb for our needs. I want to roughly block out transitions and start to figure out how we will marry movement with the narration.
Last week we got to work with the remarkable Robbie from Intimacy Poneke and it couldn't have been more groundbreaking for our process. He was integral to helping us create a foundation for our actors to feel safe. The team learned all about assessing their own boundaries and then sharing them with the other members of the team. I found it to be such a good practice of saying no. What a good reminder. I had an urge to say yes to everything out of politeness and I had to remind myself that taking my time and listening to what I am actually comfortable with can lead to much more trusting scenes. After the intimacy training, Robbie led us through some movement exercises. We did isolations throughout our whole body, starting from head to toe. It was a welcome reminder when Robbie told us to remember varying speeds. We thought about breath and diverse ways of varying the movement. The most exciting part for me was blocking out the movements to "The puppet scene" as Abi calls it. This is a scene where the Woman (played by Abi) is being led through her daily routine by John (played by Karwin)and Jane (played by, me, Liz!). The routine happens twice in the show once at the top and again at the end. The actions by John and Jane stay uniformed and rigid in both scenes but it the Woman who changes. Robbie helped us find such fun ways of presenting that concept and it left me feeling giddy with possibility.
Now the time has come for another rehearsal. It will happen ever so shortly and I must gobble some food and be off to the Inverlochy School! Transitions! Transitions! Transitions! Thanks for reading this far and please come back for more!
PS. I will put a link to Robbie's services in the comments! His company runs workshops quite frequently and I couldn't recommend them more!
HI I'M LIZ ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF YELLOW CAT CO AND THE DIRECTOR OF THE YELLOW WALLPAPER! PLEASE JOIN US WHILE WE DISCOVER HOW TO CULTIVATE A THEATER COMPANY AND DEVISE A SHOW!