Response from Brendon Fernandez
1. What is good:
All the instructors shared the same spirit. All were generous with their time and talent. No one was protective of their art, but instead shared it openly.
The randomisation - drawing lots, swapping the research between teams before the final performance - all that made me think outside of my usual way of making work, which is to find the most efficient route. I was open to new possibilities.
I was challenged, forced to work outside my comfort zone. Working across different languages (especially Mandarin, which I have a fear of). Working in physical theatre, without text (text is where I am most comfortable). Most of all, working with people who have a very different idea from me about what makes "good theatre". I know I said "I was challenged" a lot. I do not mean that as a criticism. I am happy that I found the work challenging. If I am not challenged, if something is easy, then I will not grow. I grew a lot in this workshop. Thank you!
2. What needs improvement:
I hesitate to answer this. I immediately think of how to streamline things, make them easier, more efficient. But I think that is not the point of the first 3 years of The Wharf Workshop, which, if I understand correctly, is about finding a way to make work across different languages and cultures. If things are easier, then maybe the participants will not have to adapt to each other as much.
For now, I do not think I can answer this. I am sorry.
3. A question:
What could I have done better? If I were to attend again, or participate in the second phase (to create work), what difference would you like to see in the way I conducted myself?
4. A suggestion:
Some of us were cooking for each other during the workshop, which I very much enjoyed. But I realise it is quite difficult to cook for 20 people, unless, like Eri, you have experience catering for large groups. Perhaps we can start a Wakabacho Wharf recipe book, with recipes for large groups? This can include where to buy ingredients nearby, and how to divide the preparation steps between different people.