Puppeteer Emma Fisher about her playwrighting journey for Pupa

Typically I picked March to write my blog as it was when my show Pupa was on, not thinking that yes my show Pupa is on and thus I would have no time. I was delighted to get to be part of the mentorship playwriting program with Gavin Kostick and also very nervous. I have never really written a script, for other Beyond the Bark shows (my puppet company), I would be writing a story, story boarding and then generally we would play. Surrounded by actual play writes on my first day I felt very much in disguise posing as a playwright. I was soon to discover that this talented group of writers that sat around me felt the same, we where all hiding in plain sight, wolves in sheep clothing and over the course of the mentorship all coming out as proud playwriting wolves, Emma trying to be clever and get the metaphor’s we talked about this month into her blog post. Aptly sat in a circle for our play writes support group.

When I started to write my play Pupa , I had several years of research (as Pupa is part of my PhD) and now was time to just get on with it. I used the first exercise Gavin gave us to write three scenes to start Pupa and so my mentoring journey and my playwriting began. Since then we have been assigned a new writing assignment every month which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I feel now I can call myself a puppet playwright. Coincidently a few days after I started the mentorship program I went to Slovakia to a puppet festival and met a puppet play write, I was astonished this was her only job. Puppetry was such a presence seeped in history in main land Europe that you could make a living writing plays for puppetry.

The mentorship led me to apply and do The New Play Clinic with Fishamble lending my whole team the opportunity to develop Pupa further with Gavin. All of these things circled around Belltable. 69 O’Connel Street being the perfect place to put on a puppet play that had so much of my story in it, as it was my great grandfather Michael Gough that at the turn of the 1900 converted it into an Opera house then known as Coliseum. (fun fact)

This months assignment was to write a poem with metaphors about a person. Wait a second I am just comfortable writing short puppet plays, a poem !! I can see Paul smiling from the corner of my eye. Our two time all Ireland poetry champion. I have always enjoyed writing poems, showing them on the other hand not so much. I struggled to keep away from the cheesy. As much as I love cheese. We were to talk about a person. One person seeps into all I’ve written on the mentorship, my friend Moira. So with her voice in my head and some good advice “you are cheesy deal with it” I dive into a world of metaphors which does not look too dissimilar to the world of puppets I know so well.