Director Briana Brown on new work, challenges and working with playwrights

Director Briana Brown on new work, challenges and working with playwrights

IN THE LEAD UP TO THE WORLD PREMIERE OF SALT, THE L&W BLOG WILL BE FEATURING INTERVIEWS WITH THE CREATIVE WOMEN BEHIND THE PROJECT. 

For our third instalment, Salt’s Director and Dramaturge Briana Brown shares her thoughts on approaching new work, working with playwrights, and what excites her about Salt.

As a director, how do you approach a new work? 

I think of the premiere production of any play as the “playwright’s production.” My job in developing new work is to ensure that I am clear about the playwright’s vision and ensure that all the elements at work support the story that the playwright is interested in telling. As a playwright myself, I understand the simultaneous desire to, and fear of, handing over your story to someone else. Erin and I connected pretty instantly, and I feel quite honoured by the trust and respect she has granted me.

Designer Anna Treusch on her process and working on Salt

Designer Anna Treusch on her process and working on Salt

IN THE LEAD UP TO THE WORLD PREMIERE OF SALT, THE L&W BLOG WILL BE FEATURING INTERVIEWS WITH THE CREATIVE WOMEN BEHIND THE PROJECT. 

For our second instalment, Dora Award-winning designer Anna Treusch sat down with us for a Q&A about working on Salt, what inspires her design work and what she loves most about working in theatre.

What’s your design process for a new show?

My process starts by reading the script, a quick initial read that I approach with instinct. Then I like to talk with the director early on to get their input on their feelings for the text, to see if they have the same general impressions. Then I work out the concepts and themes relevant to the design, the important storytelling features in the show, and a visual concept. I tend to design a concept through research — deeper research if I don’t know the subject matter well,  but typically more visual research — gathering pictures from different sources, things that stand out thematically to me. I look for images that have a tone that I think represents the show, not necessary to put literally into the designs, but as a starting point for conversation.

Playwright Erin Vandenberg on the making of Salt

Playwright Erin Vandenberg on the making of Salt

IN THE LEAD UP TO THE WORLD PREMIERE OF SALT, THE L&W BLOG WILL BE FEATURING INTERVIEWS WITH THE CREATIVE WOMEN BEHIND THE PROJECT. OUR FIRST INSTALMENT IS WITH PLAYWRIGHT ERIN VANDENBERG. 

Salt playwright Erin Vandenberg was inspired by real-life events when she started writing the story of Vivian, an abusive alcoholic, who is ultimately confronted by her daughters Lilias and Petal:

I first noticed a headline from a news story similar to the play’s story. It didn’t have a lot of details about the girls involved, as they were young offenders and protected, but I wasn’t shocked by their crime. Unfortunately, it felt like a thing that could happen under certain circumstances. Circumstances that are far more ordinary than maybe we care to admit. And there were a lot of similar issues in my own family to a degree, and I suspect in a lot of families.