Key Change comes to New York’s 4th Street Theatre from Northern England, after a long and interesting journey. It was created by the Newcastle-based theatre company, Open Clasp, in a collaboration with women in Her Majesty’s Prison Low Newton.
It started as a theatre devising workshop with the prisoners, then, as a show developed, it toured to male prisons in the UK. The company then took Key Change to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this past summer, where it won the prestigious Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award. The prize: a fully-funded production of Key Change in New York City.
Listen in as writer Catrina McHugh, director Laura Lindow, and actors Cheryl Dixon and Jessica Johnson discuss collaboratively creating composite characters, touring their show to prisons, working with the restrictions of their performance venues, how an environment can intimidate, keeping connections open, and building trusting relationships.
“It just felt like those voices had been flown over the razor wire, and had escaped…”
(Producer’s note: as you listen to this episode, you’ll probably realize that the dulcet, sometimes-confused, yet pleasing and sonorous baritone voice that usually does the interviewing has been replaced by someone who sounds like she knows what she’s doing. That’s because she does, for while I’m away on an out-of-town gig, radio-host, writer, actor, and fellow podcaster Tara Gadomski is more-than-ably taking over interviewing duties. Big thanks to her for keeping GSAS! going while I’m out.)
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Open Clasp Theatre Company presents
written by Catrina McHugh
directed by Laura Lindow
originally commissioned by Dilly Arts
through Sunday, January 31, 2016
The 4th Street Theatre
83 E. 4th Street
tickets: $25-$35, available via SmartTix
photos by Keith Pattison