Good stories are fueled by emotions

In good stories, finds Lavery, you feel a story and every secene is about slightly more than it seems to be about. It has the notion of a myth or a story we’ve known from the dawn of time or you know it has the elements of the very first stories we were told.

It is not about making reference to such myths. As we are all sitting in the theatre we all have to feel that that’s there, Lavery states.

All stories need to have different great emotions: grief, joy, pain, loss, terror, fury. They are very useful and there are hundreds. Emotions are the fuel of the story, of the structure. The story is about characters experiencing, controlling or suppressing these feelings. Sometimes the emotion surprises, because you know the wrong emotion is in seemingly the wrong place. You suddenly think “that character is feeling murderous rage for this person they’re pretending to love and isn’t that interesting.” But always, you know, it is happening over there. Theatre is the place where you can kill people and get away with it, Lavery says. Personally she likes to explore things that terrify her or make her angry because those are great fires for making things.

Emotions relate to the actions. They are as twins, as Lavery formulates it. An emotion can make an action or an action can call forth an emotion. On stage Lavery cannot think of any example where actions are performed without triggering emotions. You cannot get up on stage just because you feel like it.