The scenario is a familiar one. You have a piece of experimental theatre featuring a 2×3 meter green screen, two large miniature sets and a suitcase full of Foley-art material. You know, the usual. Now you want to bring this performance to The Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theatre. What do you pack? How do you prepare? What are you preparing for? The self-help gurus at Almost Human share their experiences to make your theatrical shenanigans feasible.
1. Get the band back together. Lisa, Alec, Fraser and Roos needed two extra team members to make Letters from Another Island shine again, so they got the help from Twan and Sapphire. Essential in this process is finding superhero names for the team to match their super powers. So for the rest of this blog post, we will be addressing Lisa as The Berserker, Alec as Sarcasmo, Fraser as Epilepticon, Roos as El Lingo, Twan as The Artful Dodger, and Sapphire as Black Salamander (a.k.a. Bendy Barnie). These superpowers will come in handy during your travels.
2. Location, location, location! We set up shop in an old flax mill in Shrewsbury, England, to rehearse, perfect and add new features to the show. Play dodge ball to warm up and injure your actors, but make sure The Artful Dodger is on your team.
3. Pack wisely. Or in our case, watch Lisa go into Berserk Mode the moment a set needs to be packed away, and let her boss Sarcasmo around for an hour or two.
4. Be prepared for airport troubles. No matter how many times you’ll call ahead to double-check, at 5AM there will be a stuck-up lady behind the check-in counter to tell you your set can not be flown over. Throw Epilepticon and his rhetoric skills into the mix to convince the bitch we need to get to Israel now.
5. Seriously, be prepared for airport troubles. Half of your set will be left behind in London anyway. The airport staff in Tel Aviv, however, will be the nicest and most helpful people you’ll meet, so that’s a plus. Be picked up by one of the lovely festival staff members, and make a scenic journey to Acco. Or in case of Lisa: sleep.
6. You’re now on day 2 in Israel. Throw Roos a.k.a. El Lingo in a touring bus pack to the airport to reclaim the other half of your set, and let her spend the day in a touring bus with some of the nice festival staff and forty Chinese singers and dancers. Set up at the end of the day with the amazing displays of flexibility by The Black Salamander, and hope for the best for your first performance tomorrow.
7. Rock the show. Change performance spaces. Rock again.
8. Spend all your free time exploring the city. Check out the amazing citadel and other feats of architecture, follow a cat through the old streets and markets, see some shows in languages you don’t speak, and relax at the beach.
9. Make new friends. Thank you so much Acco Festival, especially Sigal, Yohai and Baraq; Spitfire Company; John Moran; Julian, Bo and Lieke for the great time we had!
10. Come back home, write a blog post and wish you were back in Acco. Now look through pictures nostalgically.