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Wednesday, 27 January 2016 09:17

Challenges met become rewards

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Ingrid in CasablancaIngrid filming 'Casablanca'Part of the beauty of doing theatre is that every show presents its own unique challenges and problems, and that although in the beginning one doesn’t yet know how they will be met and solved, one knows that by curtain-up, they will have been. Challenges met become rewards.

At the start of the production period of this stage reading of Ingrid, I as the director had three good actors and one good story. All good so far. However, somewhat more challengingly, two of these good actors were to play the parts of eight men important and influential in the protagonist’s life. Figuring out how to block this was my problem, and it had me playing with paper dollies (three marked "Christian" + another name, four marked "Daniel" + another name) over Epiphany. Finding the solution felt like winning a Tetris jackpot.

The main difference between a stage reading and a full production is that in a stage reading, actors do not commit their lines to memory – which means a shorter production period. Stage readings are also ever-so-slightly less "official" than full productions, so renting a theatre is not an absolute must for putting one on. The shorter production period and minimum costs make it possible for us to put on more than one or two shows a year, even if only for one performance. However, turning what is essentially a classroom in a language centre into an atmospheric performance space obviously presents some problems. I have totally loved the way we as a group came up with solutions to these problems, by using to our benefit features of our somewhat unusual premises, rather than being held back by them. I’ve had great fun with Ingrid – it’s been a highly rewarding challenge, and I’m really pleased with and proud of what we’ve achieved. Here’s looking at you, kids... oh no, wait, that’s not my line.

More in this category: Decisions and sacrifices »