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Minutia @ DDT Studio
Artistic Process

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This page describes some of the processes of creation and rehearsal of Minutia.

Artistic Process.

Minutia has had a gestation period of about 7 months. The first ideas for Minutia were born out 2 desires, one Phil's and one Christian's.  Phil wanted to create a piece that drew on toy models and figurines of the world of children.  He also wanted to build the set elements first, thereby allowing the action to stem from the set elements themselves.  Christian wanted to explore the stories of Jason and Medea.  The tale of 'Jason and the Argonauts' is reasonably well known due to the 50s movie of the same name.  Medea is known to most students of drama because of Euripides' classic play. However, rarely are the two stories looked at together as a single tale.
The longer we worked through these ideas the more connections we found. What attracted us to it initially was that the story as a whole contained enormous potential for the use of an imaginery, magic world that would be supported by the models. This is particularly the case with the first half of the story that is primarily Jason's adventure. But, the story also contains a great deal of emotional depth and comment on the nature of love and relationships. Therefore, the bridge would have to be crossed to a place where the models aren't mere toys, but represent something greater. 
Also, the performance space was always intended to be DDT Studio, which is a small rectangular performance space, around 8 by 5 metres. This informed the concept from a very ealy stage.

Creating the scripts.
The first three months were given to generating a series of scripts.
The concept script.
The first script consisted of images, sounds and scenic concepts based in the original tales of Jason and the Argonauts and of Medea.  The source of these tales consisted primarily of information from 'The Greek Myths' by Robert Graves. (For anybody interested in Greek myth it's a great source.  It lists all the different versions of Greek myth, their sources and their relationship to festivals and places of today. It is detailed and concise.) The story was translated into an urban environment and details of how the scenes might be created would constructed.  Sometimes these details consisted of abstract notions such as colours, a piece of music, a line of text or a single image.  Other times the entire scene was conceived, including physical action, music and ways the models and actors would interact.  We called this script the concept script.
The episodic script.
The second script we constructed we called the episodic script.  This was a far simpler script, consisting primarily of who does what when.  We divided the concept script into discrete episodes and lay down in simple terms what happens in the episode, what each character actually does.  An example would be; "Episode 6; Jason arrives in Colchis. Medea sees Jason from hillside. King Aeetes also sees Jason and approaches him. Jason and Aeetes have a heated conversation... (etc.)
The scenic script.
The final script was the set itself. Phil built each of the elements of the set. This script consisted of models of city buildings, places and figurines of the characters of the previous two scripts.  We called these elements a 'script' because it was intended that these set elements be used to as a basis for the action, much like a script of text would.

The actors were then given the three scripts and the dialogue and scenic action was created from there.