This year OYL embarked on a fresh journey of creating new plays collaboratively with playwrights and already we have two exciting new pieces in the works. Unlike past commissions, this new collaborative approach requires the creation of an entirely different process.
OYL’s ensemble decides on one or several concepts. From broad ideas such as “infidelity” to more complex questions like “what does it mean and what does it take to belong?” we delve into states of relationship and inquires of being that interest us.
We take these initial prompts into the rehearsal room and over several sessions use OYL’s series of improvisational exercises with our fabulously talented actors to gradually build theatrical ideas. The output is rich and constant – generating images, theatrical challenges, physical shapes, styles of movement, characters and pieces of text. All of this work expounds upon the concept being explored, hints at what’s possible and inspires the playwright.
This summer we have the extraordinary honor of working with British playwright Bryony Lavery, author of our most recent NYC production, Stockholm. It has been an incredibly freeing experience devising so openly with such a wonderful, generous and experienced artist as Bryony.
The OYL rehearsal room in Papingo is an abandoned, half-built house that the owner allows us to use each year for our work. The raw and dusty concrete floor is covered edge to edge with old yoga mats to protect our feet, while the imposing Pindos mountain peaks watch us intensely through the dusty windows. I’m pretty sure this a new thing for them.
It is in this environment with so little, that I am constantly awed by how much we can create. Under a half-built roof with only movement-ready bodies and discerning eyes looking on – true magic happens moment to moment… endless possibilities, stories and experiences come to life.
Its an honor and privilege to work in this way, with such magnificent collaborators.