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Picasso’s

The Four Little Girls
A collaboration with Canberra Youth Theatre

Yass High School Drama Students

& The Highlands School of Performing Arts

 

October 5th 6th 7th at 7.30pm

Lieder Theatre Goldsmith Street Goulburn

October 14th at 7.30pm

C-Block Theatre Gorman House Canberra


 

 

Pablo Picasso was born on October 25, 1881, in Málaga, Spain. The son of a painter, José Ruiz Blanco, he began to draw at an early age. In 1895, the family moved to Barcelona, and Picasso studied there at La Lonja, The Academy of Fine Arts. In 1900, Picasso’s first exhibition took place in Barcelona, and that year he went to Paris for the first of several stays during the early years of the 20th century. Picasso settled in Paris in April 1904.

 

His style developed from the Blue Period (1901–04) to the Rose Period (1905) to the subsequent evolution of Cubism from an Analytic phase (ca. 1908–11), through its Synthetic phase (beginning in 1912–13).

 

Picasso’s collaboration on ballet and theatrical productions began in 1916. Soon thereafter, his work was characterized by neoclassicism and a renewed interest in drawing and figural representation. In the 1920s, the artist and his wife, Olga (whom he had married in 1918), continued to live in Paris, to travel frequently, and to spend their summers at the beach.

 

From 1925 into the 1930s, Picasso was involved to a certain degree with the Surrealists, and from the winter of 1931 he was especially interested in making sculpture. In 1932, with large exhibitions in Paris, and Zürich, and the publication of the first volume of Christian Zervos’s catalogue Raisonné, Picasso’s fame increased markedly.

 

By 1936, the Spanish Civil War had profoundly affected Picasso, the expression of which culminated in his painting Guernica (1937, Madrid).

 

Picasso’s association with the Communist Party began in 1944. From the late 1940s, he lived in the South of France. Among the enormous number of Picasso exhibitions that were held during the artist’s lifetime, those at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1939 and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, in 1955 were most significant.

 

In 1961, the artist married Jacqueline Roque, and they moved to Mougins. There Picasso continued his prolific work in painting, drawing, prints, ceramics, and sculpture until his death April 8, 1973.

 “Unlike in music, there are no child prodigies in painting. What people regard as premature genius is the genius of childhood. It gradually disappears as they get older. It is possible for such a child to become a real painter one day, perhaps even a great painter. But he would have to start right from the beginning. So far as I am concerned, I did not have that genius. My first drawings could never have been shown at an exhibition of children’s drawings. I lacked the clumsiness of a child, his naivety. I made academic drawings at the age of seven, the minute precision of which frightened me.” -- Picasso.

 

Picasso wrote only two plays, Desire Caught by the Tail (1945) and The Four Little Girls (1948), just after the Second World War. They were the culmination of experiments where artists in different fields collaborated to find a total expression of their new ideas by crossing the borders of their respective disciplines.

 

The Four Little Girls has no plot but is bursting with visual images. It has been described as communicating a feeling of the unexpectedly evil side of childhood. Songs, sayings, litanies, proverbs, nonsense, riddles are scattered throughout as Picasso seems to use a language that is “holiday-making” with images unfurling like Japanese flowers. His poetry never ceasing to breed as though it gives birth to itself in endless movement.

 

The play reflects on some of the most tragic and tender themes of Picasso’s work, revealing that this is not just a game that can be played against any other than a solemn background. Life, love, death are woven throughout in a marvellous and dazzling tissue of young children at play.

 

The script we are using has been translated by Roland Penrose who was born in London in 1900, lived in France between 1922 and 1935 during which time he met many surrealist painters and poets including Picasso, organised major exhibitions of his work and wrote several books about him.

 

Picasso was passionately involved with the humane presence, not only its appearance but its very nature and daily behaviour. His interest in the children of his friends and others recurs periodically in his work but happened most abundantly at moments when he was able to watch his own children at home, invent toys for them and enter into their most inconsequential games.

 

The play is set in a kitchen garden. There is a well, a tree and a door into the house.

 

THE PLAY WILL BE PERFORMED WITHOUT AN INTERVAL

 

Act One

 

Lieder Youth Theatre Company

 

“Let us play at hurting ourselves and hug each other with fury making horrible noises…” First Little Girl

 

Welcome to a magical and an amazing theatrical experience created through a unique collaboration between four regional groups of young people interested in exploring their skills and creative boundaries in an extraordinary experiment involving a lot of trust, heaps of imagination, a most strange script and a fair dose of enthusiasm to perform.

 

This was always going to be a challenging piece of theatre and I am proud of the young people who have embraced the script and together with Pauline, Bill, Lee and Adam have dived deeper and deeper into the convoluted world of this 20th century genius. I saw an award-winning production of this rarely performed play in the late 1980s by the now extinct Handspan Puppet Theatre from Melbourne. Their work remains strong in my memory and inspired my choice. And although the play was not intended to be performed due to its production difficulties I saw the script as a versatile and stimulating starting point to explore our creative juices and to find a means to collaborate in a most open and free landscape of our childhood imaginations.

 

I guess the most interesting part of this project has been the opportunity to work with other groups from the region and the chance to continue to develop meaningful relationships with neighbouring youth theatres and young people interesting in the performing arts.

 

Thank you to everyone involved especially Barb and Pip from Canberra, Fiona from Bowral and Lee from Yass along with all the young people who are part of this magical journey.

 

Director

Chrisjohn Hancock

 

Assistant Director

Pauline J Mullen

 

Designer

Bill Dorman

 

Composer, musician

Adam Guzowski

 

shadow puppeteer

Lee Gray

 

performers

Cassie Speer               

Carina Tattersall          

Alyssa Medway           

Erad Weston               

Kirby Medway

Jeremy Mutton

Lillian Dorman

Joshua Churchill                       

Katrina Churchill          

& Gosh Waters                       

 

singers

Lil Dorman

Ella Dorman

Ruby Shepherd

Tess Shepherd

 

Film footage performers

Indigo Miller

Darcy  O’Neil

Lucy Miller

Lillian Dorman

Ella Dorman

 

Camera Crew coordinated by Bill Dorman

Shane Daly

Jasper Dorman

Kieran Milward

And the cast

 

Editing

Kieran Milward

Shane Daly

Bill Dorman

 

Lighting operator

Jeremy Andrew

 

sound operator  and additional sound scapes

Thady O’Connor

 

Projections operator

Shane Daly

 

Additional support

Jayne Fischer

With thanks to Shannon Logan at Goulburn High School

Act Two

 

Canberra Youth Theatre

 

"When I was their age, I could draw like Raphael... but it took me a
lifetime to draw like them".
So said Pablo Picasso when referring to children, and their 'imaginary'
world[s]. Such a succinct statement.
I feel much the same when I have the opportunity to be involved with young people in creating theatre. 

& this group of 10 young adults is no exception.
Their professionalism & dedication to the task at hand has been
extraordinary.
When faced with a text that is, let's face it, not always accessible; they
rose to the challenge, and have produced a piece of theatre that is both
disturbing and beautiful.
I hope you walk away from the theatre tonight with '...anchors thrown to the bottom of the heavens...'!
Thanks to Lieder for their faith, Canberra Youth Theatre for their support & trust, & Yass & Bowral for their collaboration...
& Thank-you, the audience, for watching.

Director

Barb Barnett

 

Designer

Gillian Schwab

 

Cast

Dave Caust

Emma Hall

Kai Hodgkin

Jack Lloyd

Nick McCorriston

Alison McGregor

Chris Rooks

Shasta Sutherland

Josey Teasdale

Sigrid von Senger

 

Members to thank [we were sorry to see you go!]

Chris Barlow

Alicia Goldsworthy

Elyse Horan

Caity Hyam

Sabrina McColl

Kate Renton

Murray Kelly

& Linda McHugh

 

A big thanks to Pip Buining – Artistic Director of CYT

 

Act Four (Three)

 

The Highlands School of Performing Arts

 

A group of students from my senior acting class at THSPA are very excited to be involved in this project. It has presented a challenge and has introduced them to a new way of approaching a text and performance. I am very proud of the way they have found their own path through this and claimed ownership of the piece. We are very
grateful for this opportunity.

Director         

Fiona Shannon

 

Designer

Annemaree Dalziel

 

Cast   

 

Danielle Eringa

Sarah Green

Carlos Greenwell

Casey Schaeffer

Sarah Twee

Rikki Millbank

Lachlan Meaney

Dashiell Moore

 

 

Act Four & Act Five

 

Yass high School Drama Students

 

Here is what I have done with the two acts from Four Little girls. It is very different to the original, with a change in focus and tone. Some parts of the original were found both challenging and offensive to my students so I have pulled words and phrases out of the original and attempted to create a shifting atmosphere.

 

I have aimed at exploring all of the negative words and images present in Act 4 and countered this with the positive from Act 5. I have tried to match some of the actions to the words, with the construction of nooses and gallows which is then followed by the transformation of the gallows to a broad canvass upon which are painted images of Spring-time, and the construction of the sun matches the construction and counters the negativity of the gallows from the previous scene.

 

Director

Lee Brown

 

Cast

Bridget Mitchell

Cassie Flynn

Emma Hahue

Rebekah Kordas-Humphry

Amy Smith

Caitlin Nelson

 

Act Six

 

Created by all four groups over the final two days of preparation

 

Yass High School Drama Students

 

The Highlands School of Performing Arts

 

Canberra Youth Theatre

 

And the

Lieder Youth Theatre Company

 

The Lieder Theatre Company is proud to work in partnership with the
Goulburn Regional Art Gallery
to present an

exhibition in the Lieder Theatre foyer from 5 to 7 October to coincide
with this performance of Pablo Picasso’s play The Four Little Girls

 

PAINTINGS IN THE STYLE OF PICASSO
  All works will be for sale through the Gallery

 

quotes by Pablo Picasso

 

Poetry – but everything you find in these poems one can also     find in my paintings.  So many painters today have forgotten poetry in their paintings – and it’s the most important thing: poetry.    1959

 

Computers are useless.

They can only give you answers.

 

Every child is an artist.

The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

 

Everything you can imagine is real.

 

God is really only another artist, he made the elephant, giraffe and cat. He has no real style but keeps trying new ideas

 

I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

 

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape...

 

There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.

 

There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.

 

We all know that art is not the truth, art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.