Adam Moulds – The Rogue Less Travelled: Finding and Following Your “Rogue Voice” When Writing for Performance


Adam Moulds

University of Sydney

The Rogue Less Travelled: Finding and Following Your “Rogue Voice” When Writing for Performance

The process of writing for performance can be a fraught and fragile endeavour, occasionally tapping into a darkness that may be both entirely unexpected and deeply unsettling for a writer. Indeed, a particular process of creative writing may be that which evokes such darkness, subsequently taking a piece of writing for performance in a completely different direction to that which the writer had assumed at the outset. Amidst this dark and disturbing deviation, however, may reside seedlings of hope and the promise of progress and sociopolitical change – that is, perhaps we need to say hello to the darkness before we can say goodbye to it. Accordingly, this paper explores one such particular process of writing for performance, namely that which was developed and is taught by Dr. Sue Woolfe and Dr. Stephen Sewell within the Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Performance at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and that utilises a dualistic creative writing methodology comprised of “loose construing” (Kelly, 1955; Stevens, 1999; Woolfe, 2007) and “the Lull” (Martindale, 1995; Woolfe, 2007; Sewell, 2017). Moreover, as a result of undertaking said course in 2018 myself and henceforth stumbling upon a domineering and deeply disturbing curiosity in my own creative writing – a phenomenon that Woolfe (2013, pp. 286-294) refers to as “the rogue” – this paper is also an attempt to further the academic discussion she initiated in her essay entitled ‘Rogues: A Speculation.’ For without Woolfe’s speculative discourse on “the rogue” – a liminal force that having now experienced its power I believe should be equally feared and revered – I would have been veritably stranded in the toxic purgatorial abyss of my own writing for performance practice rather than being encouraged and emboldened as I was, once I had found my “rogue voice,” to follow it through the darkness and back into the light. 

Adam Moulds began his career in the performing arts as a stand-up comedian, regularly appearing at the Comedy Store in Sydney, Australia, and also performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He then went on to train as a professional actor at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) from 2001-2003. Upon graduation Adam was cast in the Channel 9 program ‘Comedy Inc.,’ appearing in the sketch comedy show from 2004-2006. He then moved into performing arts education completing a Grad Dip Ed at the University of Notre Dame Australia and subsequently working as a drama teacher at The King’s School from 2007-2017. In 2018 Adam returned to NIDA to undertake the MFA in Writing for Performance. Currently a D.Arts candidate at the University of Sydney, Adam is aiming to build upon the research and the correlative creative project he developed during the MFA at NIDA – that is, a one-man-show entitled ‘Spoken in Jest’ in which a stand-up comedian goes “rogue” before his audience.