Four Little Girls A collaboration withCanberra Youth Theatre
YassHigh School Drama Students
& The HighlandsSchool of Performing Arts
October 5th 6th
Goldsmith Street Goulburn
October 14th at
C-Block Theatre Gorman House
Pablo Picasso was born on October 25, 1881, in Málaga, Spain. The
son of a painter, José Ruiz Blanco, he began to draw at an early age.
In 1895, the family moved to Barcelona, and Picasso studied there at La Lonja, The Academy of Fine Arts.
In 1900, Picasso’s first exhibition took place in Barcelona, and that
year he went to Paris for the first of several stays during the early years of the 20th
century. Picasso settled in Paris in April 1904.
His style developed
from the Blue Period (1901–04) to the Rose Period (1905) to the subsequent
evolution of Cubism from an Analytic phase (ca. 1908–11), through its
Synthetic phase (beginning in 1912–13).
on ballet and theatrical productions began in 1916. Soon thereafter,
his work was characterized by neoclassicism and a renewed interest in
drawing and figural representation. In the 1920s,
the artist and his wife, Olga (whom he had married in 1918), continued
to live in Paris, to travel frequently, and to spend their summers
at the beach.
From 1925 into the
1930s, Picasso was involved to a certain degree with the Surrealists,
and from the winter of 1931 he was especially interested in making sculpture.
In 1932, with large exhibitions in Paris, and Zürich, and the publication
of the first volume of Christian Zervos’s catalogue Raisonné, Picasso’s
fame increased markedly.
By 1936, the Spanish
Civil War had profoundly affected Picasso, the expression of which culminated
in his painting Guernica (1937, Madrid).
with the Communist Party began in 1944. From the late 1940s, he lived
in the South of France. Among the enormous number of Picasso exhibitions
that were held during the artist’s lifetime, those at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1939
and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, in 1955 were
In 1961, the artist
married Jacqueline Roque, and they moved to Mougins. There Picasso continued
his prolific work in painting, drawing, prints, ceramics, and sculpture
until his death April 8, 1973.
“Unlike in music, there are no child prodigies
in painting. What people regard as premature genius is the genius of
childhood. It gradually disappears as they get older. It is possible
for such a child to become a real painter one day, perhaps even a great
painter. But he would have to start right from the beginning. So far
as I am concerned, I did not have that genius. My first drawings could
never have been shown at an exhibition of children’s drawings. I lacked
the clumsiness of a child, his naivety. I made academic drawings at
the age of seven, the minute precision of which frightened me.”
Picasso wrote only
two plays, Desire Caught by the Tail (1945) and The Four Little
Girls (1948), just after the Second World War. They were the culmination
of experiments where artists in different fields collaborated to find
a total expression of their new ideas by crossing the borders of their
The Four Little
Girls has no plot but is bursting with visual images. It has been described
as communicating a feeling of the unexpectedly evil side of childhood.
Songs, sayings, litanies, proverbs, nonsense, riddles are scattered
throughout as Picasso seems to use a language that is “holiday-making”
with images unfurling like Japanese flowers. His poetry
never ceasing to breed as though it gives birth to itself in endless
The play reflects on
some of the most tragic and tender themes of Picasso’s work, revealing
that this is not just a game that can be played against any other than
a solemn background. Life, love, death are woven throughout in a marvellous
and dazzling tissue of young children at play.
The script we are using
has been translated by Roland Penrose who was born in London in 1900,
lived in France between 1922 and 1935 during which time he met many
surrealist painters and poets including Picasso, organised major exhibitions
of his work and wrote several books about him.
Picasso was passionately
involved with the humane presence, not only its appearance but its very
nature and daily behaviour. His interest in the children of his friends
and others recurs periodically in his work but happened most abundantly
at moments when he was able to watch his own children at home, invent
toys for them and enter into their most inconsequential games.
The play is set in
a kitchen garden. There is a well, a tree and a door into the house.
THE PLAY WILL BE PERFORMED
WITHOUT AN INTERVAL
Lieder Youth Theatre
“Let us play
at hurting ourselves and hug each other with fury making horrible noises…” First Little Girl
Welcome to a magical
and an amazing theatrical experience created through a unique collaboration
between four regional groups of young people interested in exploring
their skills and creative boundaries in an extraordinary experiment
involving a lot of trust, heaps of imagination, a most strange script
and a fair dose of enthusiasm to perform.
This was always going
to be a challenging piece of theatre and I am proud of the young people
who have embraced the script and together with Pauline, Bill, Lee and
Adam have dived deeper and deeper into the convoluted world of this
20th century genius. I saw an award-winning production of this rarely
performed play in the late 1980s by the now extinct Handspan Puppet
Theatre from Melbourne. Their work
remains strong in my memory and inspired my choice. And although the
play was not intended to be performed due to its production difficulties
I saw the script as a versatile and stimulating starting point to explore
our creative juices and to find a means to collaborate in a most open
and free landscape of our childhood imaginations.
I guess the most interesting
part of this project has been the opportunity to work with other groups
from the region and the chance to continue to develop meaningful relationships
with neighbouring youth theatres and young people interesting in the
Thank you to everyone
involved especially Barb and Pip from Canberra, Fiona from Bowral and Lee from Yass along with all the young people
who are part of this magical journey.
Pauline J Mullen
& Gosh Waters
Film footage performers
coordinated by Bill Dorman
And the cast
sound operatorand additional sound
With thanks to Shannon
Logan at Goulburn High School
Canberra Youth Theatre
"When I was their
age, I could draw like Raphael... but it took me a
lifetime to draw like them".
So said Pablo Picasso when referring to children, and their 'imaginary'
world[s]. Such a succinct statement.
I feel much the same when I have the opportunity to be involved with
young people in creating theatre.
& this group of
10 young adults is no exception.
Their professionalism & dedication to the task at hand has been
When faced with a text that is, let's face it, not always accessible;
rose to the challenge, and have produced a piece of theatre that is
disturbing and beautiful.
I hope you walk away from the theatre tonight with '...anchors thrown
to the bottom of the heavens...'!
Thanks to Lieder for their faith, Canberra Youth Theatre for their support
& trust, & Yass & Bowral for their collaboration...
& Thank-you, the audience, for watching.
Sigrid von Senger
Members to thank
[we were sorry to see you go!]
& Linda McHugh
A big thanks to Pip
Buining – Artistic Director of CYT
Act Four (Three)
The Highlands School
of Performing Arts
A group of students
from my senior acting class at THSPA are very excited to be involved
in this project. It has presented a challenge and has introduced them
to a new way of approaching a text and performance. I am very proud
of the way they have found their own path through this and claimed ownership
of the piece. We are very
grateful for this opportunity.
Act Four & Act Five
Yass high School
Here is what I have
done with the two acts from Four Little girls. It is very different
to the original, with a change in focus and tone. Some parts of the
original were found both challenging and offensive to my students so
I have pulled words and phrases out of the original and attempted to
create a shifting atmosphere.
I have aimed at exploring
all of the negative words and images present in Act 4 and countered
this with the positive from Act 5. I have tried to match some of the
actions to the words, with the construction of nooses and gallows which
is then followed by the transformation of the gallows to a broad canvass
upon which are painted images of Spring-time, and the construction of
the sun matches the construction and counters the negativity of the
gallows from the previous scene.
Created by all four
groups over the final two days of preparation
Yass High School Drama Students
The Highlands School
of Performing Arts
Canberra Youth Theatre
Lieder Youth Theatre
The Lieder Theatre
Company is proud to work in partnership with the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery
to present an
exhibition in the Lieder
Theatre foyer from 5 to 7 October to coincide
with this performance of Pablo Picasso’s play The Four Little Girls
PAINTINGS IN THE STYLE OF PICASSO All
works will be for sale through the Gallery
by Pablo Picasso
– but everything you find in these poems one can alsofind in my paintings. So many painters
today have forgotten poetry in their paintings – and it’s the most important
Computers are useless.
They can only give you answers.
Every child is an artist.
The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
Everything you can imagine is real.
is really only another artist, he made the elephant, giraffe and cat.
He has no real style but keeps trying new ideas
am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how
to do it.
artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place:
from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing
are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others
who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow
spot into the sun.
is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward
you can remove all traces of reality.
all know that art is not the truth, art is a lie that makes us realize