Development sites in the empty city : from picture book to performance
Megarrity, David (2011) Development sites in the empty city : from picture book to performance. In 20th Biennial Congress of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature: Fear and Safety in Children’s Literature, 4-8 July 2011, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Qld. (Unpublished)
Picturebooks invite performance every time they are read. What happens to them when they’re adapted for live performance?
This ongoing practice led research project (2008-) regenerates and transforms picturebook The Empty City (Hachette/Livre 2007) by David Megarrity and Jonathon Oxlade into a live experience.
In this rebuilding, interanimation of text and illustration on the picturebook page suddenly open up into a new and complex structure incorporating composition of music, animation, live action, projected image and performing objects.
The presenter is the creator of both the source text and writer/composer of the adaptation, providing a unique vantage point that draws on sources from both within and without the creative process up to and including audience reception.
From the foundations up, this paper’s focus is on deep, muddy sites of development in the adaptation process, unearthed treasures, and how perceptions of fear and safety push, sway and stress the building of a new performance work for children in content, form and process.
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