Jessie Keenan's questions
Jessie Keenan compiled this list of phrases and questions after visiting Friel’s archives and sharing research with Friel scholar Zosia Kuczyńska. Items 3–6 are direct quotations from the Brian Friel Papers. Jessie went on to improvise responses to recordings in which she attempted to answer each phrase as a question. Her response to ‘So what is surfacing’ was later developed and forms the basis of Jessie’s film of the same name.
Friel's creative process
Friel scholar Zosia Kuczyńska gives an overview of some of the distinctive features of playwright Brian Friel’s creative process as revealed by his literary archives at the National Library of Ireland.
So what is surfacing
This note towards Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) contains a phrase that directly inspired Jessie Keenan’s short dance film of the same name, ‘So what is surfacing’.
So what is surfacing, original improvisation
This is Jessie Keenan’s original dance improvisation to audio she recorded in response to the question ‘So what is surfacing?’, adapted from a phrase written by Brian Friel during the composition process for Dancing at Lughnasa (1990).
Is the play about this?
This note towards Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) is an example of Brian Friel’s habit of asking himself questions as part of his composition process.
Mixed interview, extract 2
Zosia Kuczyńska, Jessie Keenan, and Robbie Blake talk about their own scholarly and artistic processes and how they intersect with Friel’s creative practice.
Now is it coming together?
This question from Friel’s notes towards Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) was one of four archival fragments selected by dancer-choreographer Jessie Keenan when developing a live improvisation technique to generate new material during a Dance House residency in May 2019.