Isolation Work



Read about the creation and development of Nasty new original work by the Shadows.

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ISOLATION JONES by Scott Shannon


Writer / Director – Scott Shannon

Notes – Nov 8/2020

Yesterday, I began thinking back on this project from the summer’s engaging co-production with Herbert the Cow Productions, THE FIFTH WALL; an evening of short plays created specifically for the event, a way to create theatre during these uncertain times. I had the wonderful opportunity to work closely with Corenski Nowlan in planning the event with he and his Cows, got re-associate with some folks, and met some other new theatre folks. It was a welcome experience at the time and in retrospect it was certainly one of my favourite large group efforts, with all the folks involved in the 4 shows we staged.

For practical purposes during the pandemic, I decided to create a solo piece on my own that I would perform. Easy to schedule rehearsals and plan the process, and being no stranger to performing other one-man shows I thought it was time to force myself to make this happen in some fashion.

Scott Shannon in 'ISOLATION JONES' @ THE FIFTH WALL (Aug 2020)

Scott Shannon in ‘ISOLATION JONES’ @ THE FIFTH WALL (Aug 2020)

The idea for the play came after Corenski pitched THE FIFTH WALL idea to me — I wanted to create something that would echo the current situation, and lo and behold I’d already created a world through some other related plays that take place during a time when folks do not leave their homes. At this time in human history/futurosity, humans huddle(d) in their homes, ever since The Great Seclusion.

As I think back, I remember how wild it was to create something entirely from scratch, and then rehearse and bring it to the stage alone – and in such a short period of time – this was my first endeavour where I would say I was responsible for what the audience soaked up. I wrote the text and workshopped it myself, with my amazing wife Alicia providing me some input and critique along the way (so, not entirely alone, but it was up to me to take or disregard Alicia’s input at any point with what I shared, so in the end I was responsible). There were no sound or light cues, just me and three boxes under the sun. Each box held an item: a book/pencil; a basin of water and cloth; a set of chains that were set by the performer, me. This was a new approach for me to try, and I felt good about the end result and the varying feedback and comments I heard afterwards.

It felt so good to create and share something with people in a live environment again … and I’m thinking it might be fun to let this piece resurface in the near future in some interesting outdoor pop-up performances in our usual Nasty NB cities …


* I seem most interested in exploring this unknown future as the world where my plays occur – everything I’ve completed or am currently working on ties into “The Great Seclusion”.

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