Sunday, April 11, 2010

director's notes, 1st draft

i never planned to direct this show. i bought it in a 2nd-hand d.c. shop for about 3bucks, searching for an audition monologue written for a voice like mine. (1st rule of auditioning, do something you comfortable with, right?) jestina's calypso delivered a monologue i like a lot but for some reason never memorised, far less worked+used, just kept reading and liking more over years.
then griot needed a 1st play...
trying to find something right for the 1st production, we all kept coming back to jestina; we loved it. we love it because is us, still, a generation after it was written, still waiting to begin.
jestina not easy, and to be honest, even i underestimated how hard, but still i love this piece.

i move smart: cast it well to make my work easier; good production team holding it down so all i had to do was direct. make magic. balance chorus and bedroom. make lulu ugly. just the impossible.why i think i could manage the problems this play presents just because i love it? love is not enough to make theatrical device work. love is never enough.
i wasn't sure this process existed outside my imagination, wasn't sure any of the work was real until i drove on the road where the chorus limes outside the parlour, and stood in jestina's bedroom. but it was never just me; griot said yes, let's tackle perceptions of ugliness+beauty, postcolonial identity in the battle of foreign vs. local, love+betrayal, picong-as-escape-clause, time to wait for everything to be perfectly aligned, do the damn show now...
apparently we did.
this cast makes me want to kill every last one of them but is capable of amazing things. they take their cuss and put in the work and dealt with my direction (swizzle your callaloo all over his...use your voice to wrap those warm words around his piggy and gently squeeze...) and in the end deliver a performance that makes me so proud.

coming home to do the work i set out for myself from jump, i couldn't ask for anything better than this show, this production company, this cast, this musical director, this crew, this production+design team, this support group willing to come and throw extra eyes on things i needed to resolve, this time...this is we theatre, now.
walk good.

[disclaimer: a version of this post exists @]


Anonymous zed said...

bloi !!! bloi !! bloi !!!
so mad i not there to see it, but merde !! to you all, so proud of my sis, you did what u went to do and you encourage me !!
big love, always

7:57 pm  

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