Gold No Trade has a surprising and innovative performance style. Below you can read more about our inspirations…
Ecole Jacques Lecoq
Gold No Trade plays draw on its founders training at the Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq.
The Lecoq school is a graduate level theater conservatory in Paris started in 1956 by Jacques Lecoq. It teaches physical theater and how to collaboratively create new works of theater. While the school is sometimes associated with clowning or mime, it teaches a variety of performance styles from realism to tragedy to cartooning onstage. What unifies Lecoq training, to us, is:
-a focus on creating rich, new theater with simple means
-a sense of playful inventiveness on stage and in the rehearsal room
-an emphasis on the visual elements of performance like body movement and the architecture of a scene
Some well known graduates are Julie Taymor (creator of The Lion King on Broadway); Geoffrey Rush; Yasmina Reza; Simon McBurney; Arianne Mnouchkine.
Our plays often use everyday objects in what we like to think of as clever ways. For example, an umbrella might first be used a parasol.
Then turned upside down and become a boat.
Then turned to the side and illuminated to become a globe.
This repurposing of objects comes from a style known as Object Theater or Object Puppetry. Some theater companies do exclusively Object Theater like Lunatique Fantastique of San Francisco.
Others, like us, draw on it to bring an exciting economy and element of surprise to our shows. We also love the double meaning possible when, say, the writ a magistrate signs sentencing a woman to life in a penal colony, can in the next scene become the sails on the ship that carries her away.
The Tiny Stage
The tiny stage Floating Brothel performs on is called a trestle (or tréteau, in French). It’s derived from the portable stages traveling Commedia dell’Arte troupes would perform on in Renaissance Italy. At l’Ecole Lecoq (see above), we used a trestle stage as a tool to learn how to compose a stage image as precisely as a photographer or painter composes their artwork. Gold No Trade decided to stage an entire play on a trestle because the constrained space required us to develop innovative storytelling techniques. The compression of space paradoxically opens the horizons of the imagination.
While The Pinks isn’t staged on a trestle, we use the same principles of a reduced playing area to drive us towards a differently innovative production.