The Lover's Acute Accent
by Brett Haynes
Brett Haynes is a producer, director, playwright, and founder of Triangle Pi Productions. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, having majored in Drama while apprenticing as a set designer. He then went on to graduate from George Brown Theatre School in 2008. In 2010, Mr. Haynes started Triangle Pi Productions with a drive to produce new Canadian work by emerging artists. Triangle Pi Productions first show, Breaking News, was showcased at the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival and went on to win Critic’s Pick and Patron’s Pick. Triangle Pi Productions went on to produce Vacant by the emerging playwright Fraser Elsdon and Hatched by Claire Burns. He has directed several shows in Toronto and throughout Ontario, including the new play It All Leads to the Lemon Scene which debuted at the New Ideas Festival in Toronto and then went on to be produced in New York City.
Can our own Canadian accents not create the same beauty? I believe they can. I believe that the text of Middleton, Ben Jonson, Pinter and Wilde himself can be equally beautiful if spoken in any dialect for it is not the accent that tells the story but the words. Though, with every proposal I wrote and interview I attended I faced resistance to my ideas. Even with pages of research, quotations from the playwright and references to artistic theories all used to justify my choices, I was continuously denied and on one occasion, verbally attacked by one of my interviewees. I can honestly say that I was about to admit defeat. But the day I walked into the Sterling Studio it all changed. My ideas, which were previously dismissed, were welcomed with excitement and intrigue. The artistic team at the Sterling Studio Theatre Collective took a risk and for that I am forever grateful. This is my first time working with the Sterling Studio Theatre and from this one experience; I can honestly say that I have never met such a warm, supportive and talented group of artists. I believe their bravery to take risks is only one of many reasons why The Sterling Studio Theatre Collective is one of the strongest theatre companies in Toronto today.Now on to directing The Lover.
So you see, I didn’t ‘block’ this show. I didn’t tell them where they had to stand or sit or lean. I believe if the actors are in the moment and are truly listening to their partner or partners their instincts will tell them everything they need to know. Yes, I am a nightmare for Stage Mangers but I have found that instead of dictating where to move or sit, sometimes all actors really need is a gentle push down the right path. I believe it is my job as a director to simply tell the actors which choices read and which ones don’t.
Now, this is the point where I could go on and on about how we, as a group, interpreted this work and how relevant this piece is to today’s highly sexual society but to be honest it doesn’t matter. Each of us (artists and audience members) will interpret this work differently due to our own personal life experiences and that is what I love about the theatre. I love how one word or action performed live within a play can mean so many things to so many different people. So that being said, all we can do as artists is present our work the best we know how and hope you, as a spectator, experience something. And more importantly, we hope you are entertained. As Bertolt Brecht once said;
‘From the start it has been the theatre’s business to entertain people … it needs no other passport than fun’.