Researching the text
What do you know about Matt Cameron? What influenced him to write Ruby Moon? * Matt Cameron is an Australian playwright who is known for writing Absurdist play. He puts an absurdist lens on things and distorts the everyday. Cameron has a lot of recurring elements in his work. Some of these things are the use of doors, disturbing images, and the co-existence of comedy and dark moments. In his play Ruby Moon, Cameron holds up a lens to suburbia, presenting it as distorted and nightmare-ish. * Matt Cameron wrote Ruby Moon in response to a number of stories in Australia about children going missing. The idea that children can just disappear and never return threatens us all as a universal issue and taps into our subconscious fear of the unknown. That fear of the unknown and sense of venerability we experience as a child is what Cameron wanted the audience to connect with. Cameron wrote Ruby Moon in the hope of reminding society of the fragility of life.
Discuss form and style and the main conventions of the form
* The style of Ruby Moon is presentational and therefore makes no attempt to suggest that the audience is viewing life. More often than not, one thing will stand for another. * The form of Ruby Moon is absurdism, a non-realistic form of theatre. Absurdism is based on the ideas of Existentialism, which is the belief that life is meaningless. Absurdist plays highlight the absurdity of life, shown through its conventions. Such as; no sense of time and place, unusual characters, meaningless/repetitive dialogue, strange occurrences and no resolution. Ruby Moon includes all of these absurdist conventions. For example Ray, throughout the whole play, repetitively asking Sylvie for a kiss which she never gives him, is one example of repetitive dialogue or actions. The text has no resolution which is also an absurdist convention. Cameron decides not to give his audience a fairy tale happy ending as endings give comfort. Cameron wanted to scare his audience and make them feel disturbed about the dangers of society.
Discuss the structure of the play
* The structure of Ruby Moon is cyclical, disjointed and episodic. Ray and Sylvie replay themselves interviewing their neighbours as a routine in an effort to numb their grief. They cannot resolve Ruby’s disappearance and are stuck, however, the audience can see they must move in order to bury their grief. It is episodic because it consists of a series of short scenes, each one with its own narrative and complication. The constant change of location creates a distorted narrative. The episodic structure allows time to shift from past to present, place to shift without set change, and for rhythm to rise and fall without losing the tension. Cameron’s structure thus relies on the audience to make connections between scenes.
Answer dramaturgical research questions.
1. What aspects of cultural identity are present in the text? * Cultural identity is present in the text through the personality of the characters. When deconstructing the characters within Ruby Moon it becomes evident that they cover the key forces in our society: religion, science, art, magic and the military. These features given to the characters make them specifically generic and therefore universal. The notion of community is highlighted in the text as a universal aspect of cultural identity. When looked at on a deeper level the audience can see that Cameron in fact explores the facet of a destroyed community, ruined by the secrets that exist within the street. The suburbs are where our families and securities are found. Ruby Moon challenges the assumption that the neighbourhoods we live in are safe by reminding us how easily a child can be taken from one.
2. What aspects of historical identity are present in the text? * The text explores Cameron’s idea that there was once a better sense of community. When children could wander off up and down the...
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