A portfolio of projects, a map of how things are developing


pic by jordan prosser

I’ve been taking a little time at the end of the year to do an overview of my current portfolio of projects.

One ongoing challenge for the sort of work I do is that it’s very hard to quantify your output. If I were just a playwright, then I’d presumably be able to point to a body of playscripts and say ‘that’s it, that’s what I’ve done this year’. Or if I just did solo shows, or just recorded albums, or just did *any* one thing, it would be easier to count.

It’s trickier when your work happens across a few different practices. Trickier still when some things happen under your own name, and some under the auspices of various companies, collaborations etc. Trickier even still when they take place in different countries.

So it was an interesting and useful task to spend a couple of hours breaking down all my existing projects. From playscripts to solo shows to collaborative productions to games to workshops, these are all the works I’m doing that are currently active.

(By ‘active’ I mean: if someone was interested in hosting / presenting one of these, we could find a way to make it happen.)


pic by jordan prosser

This is the list, as of December 2018:

Kill Climate Deniers – Playscript, solo show, album (with Reuben Ingall) and walking tour. What happens when the unstoppable force of climate change meets the immovable object of Australian politics?

CrimeForce: LoveTeam – In the future, everyone will murder a boy band member. Interactive performance using the tools of Futures Studies and scenario thinking to explore the future of pop music and criminal justice. Created with Jordan Prosser.

Are You Ready To Take The Law Into Your Own Hands? – A high-octane Filipino pop musical about a group of fans on a mission to save their idol. Created with the Sipat Lawin Ensemble.

44 Sex Acts In One Week – A rom com playscript. A writer and photographer at a lifestyle blog are tasked with trying 44 different kinds of sex in one week.

You’re Safe Til 2024 – Solo show. Over the last year, I’ve invited scientists to select a series of objects illustrating the changes happening to the planet today. This is a showcase of the objects they’ve chosen and the stories they’ve told. 

Get The Kids And Run – Interactive games / workshop. Players take on the role of managing a small town in the lead up to a volcano or typhoon crisis. Created with Boho for the Earth Observatory Singapore.

Sex Play – A performance about the ethics of intimacy. Created with Anthea Williams and Sarah Walker.

Finance System games – A set of games exploring the impact of climate change on the finance sector. Created with Coney.

Best Festival Ever: How To Manage A Disaster – Interactive performance. Audiences explore concepts from complex systems science and resilience thinking through managing their own music festival. Created with Boho.

The Future of Nature – Interactive solo show for conference audiences using futures scenarios to examine the future of nature documentaries. Created for Nesta.

Gobyerno (Government) – Interactive performance / workshop. Over two hours, audiences create an original documentary about their ideal society. Created with the Sipat Lawin Ensemble.

95 Years or Less – Interactive performance / workshop. Audiences explore the challenges facing an NGO trying to restore an Indonesian rainforest over 95 years. Created with Coney / Boho for Forum for the Future.

Kids Killing Kids– Documentary theatre performance. Follows the making of and backlash to Sipat Lawin’s 2012 production of Battalia Royale project in the Philippines. Created with Too Many Weapons and the Sipat Lawin Ensemble.

End Science Now – Playscript. A globe-trotting spy thriller about a group of renegades who go undercover to bring down the study of science worldwide.

Foreignoy – Performance. My Pinoy pop song mash-up for Filipino TV segment ‘You’re My Foreignoy’. Created with Sipat Lawin.

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Of course, not all of these are at the same stage of development. Some, like Kill Climate Deniers or CrimeForce, are finished and ready to go. Others are still in development, and looking for different levels of engagement / collaboration from partners.

I found it really useful to make myself a rough map, to see what stage different projects are at.

It was interesting to see, for example, that since retiring the Kill Climate Deniers solo show, I have only one solo show coming up to being performable, and that’s a few months off.

As a working artist, I don’t necessarily have the freedom to decide how my year is shaped. But this was an interesting exercise in terms of helping guide me in prioritising between the projects I do have afoot.

(Note: I have plenty more projects at concept stage – we all do, I think – but the internet is not the best place to put my early thinking.)

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More news-y update. The main thing to mention here is that the Pleasance Theatre in London will be presenting Kill Climate Deniers as part of their 2019 season. This is super exciting – looking forward to Nic Connaughton and the team taking it on.