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  • El Waddingham

Hear from the writer behind Barriers, Seb Saint!

El and Seb sat down to reflect on the crazy amazing process that has been the creation of Barriers. Check out what he had to say about the show-it's pretty swiffie.

What was your inspiration for writing Barriers?

My main inspiration for the overall concept and message was difference and why isn't it respected? That question has been a massive part of my journey as an artist. Everyone is a different human being. Everyone has their own unique experiences, personalities, and qualities. Instead of celebrating these ideas, we seem to use them to shove people into boxes. A brain shortcut used when getting to know others. What would happen if we got to know a person instead of just making assumptions about surface-level appearances? That's what inspires me and my work.

What are some of your theatrical inspirations OR what tv shows, movies, music, and art inspire you at the moment?

Barriers itself was inspired by a few things including, Ready Player 1 (movie and book), Urinetown the Musical, some Matrix-like elements, the internet culture and metaverse ideas of today, and by some of my amazing friends who have helped me along the way.

For my theatrical inspirations, probably currently James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy as he turns a bunch of nobodies into a tightly knit family which audiences have cried over, and Johnathan Larson who has always been a writing inspiration from the start, mainly seeing his story in the movie adaptation and play script of Tick Tick Boom.

How have you found your first experience having one of your works produced?

It's been a lot. Lots of work, time management, and sacrifices. The process challenged me in so many ways, however, every script checkpoint and piece of feedback I received for my work until the final show copy, pushed me to keep going and felt so rewarding. Furthermore, I have discovered that while most people think writing might be one of the loneliest experiences, it's one of the most social. Bouncing ideas of El and Jase, the cast and crew, or even just my theatre or college friends, kept the process interesting, fun and enhanced my writing so much. I'm so thankful for all their help.

Why is this an important piece of theatre?

I think it challenges things people don't think about. I think we do a lot of stereotyping and assuming without actually trying to engage with a person, figure out what's going on, and communicate. I know especially as a young adult who was just a teen that we tend to do this a lot. We hear things about other people, and we make assumptions and opinions. This play is made to make people think and be self-conscious about these things and that they could be missing out on something or someone beautiful.

How has the theatrePUNK process of script development helped Barriers?

It helped immensely. Dramaturg sessions with El assisted forming and writing my ideas a lot. The most helpful process was probably the workshop that took place before my final draft where I was able to talk through the script with the actors and crew, receiving critical feedback that changed the script in so many ways.

What are you most excited to see on stage?

For the play to come to life! For a year it's been this theoretical idea in my head that I can only imagine. Now that Jase, the crew, and the actors have it, I'm so excited to see what they do with it.

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