Monday, March 31, 2014

The Question... Laura Orozco and Myrna Wyatt-Selkirk on Action Spectrum - Director's Project

The Actor/Director Relationship
by Estelle Rosen
Laura Orozco is in her third year studying Psychology and Theatre Studies at McGill University in Montreal. She is currently co-technical director at the Tuesday Night Café Theatre. She is also Festival Production Manager for Action Spectrum.
Professor Myrna Wyatt-Selkirk is an Associate Professor at McGill University in the Department of English where she teaches Acting and Directing. She is the Festival Director for the Action Spectrum: Director's Project 2014 festival

CHARPO: Tell us about McGill's Action Spectrum: Director's Project 2014 theatre festival directed by members of Department of English:Directing for the Theatre course. The festival includes both classic playwrights and student playwrights, did each director select the play they chose to direct and, what are some of the challenges for a festival that includes 12 plays?
OROZCO: Action Spectrum is the product of a huge collaboration. Behind the scenes of a 12-play festival there needs to be very clear communication and coordination. This year the festival is happening in collaboration with the Tuesday Night Café Theatre with performances happening in the unique TNC space on the McGill Campus. As a smaller company with a smaller space, executing a festival like this has meant a lot of shared time and space. (cont'd)

OROZCO (cont'd): I think that any work of student theatre needs to take risks and push its own (and its members') boundaries in order to generate growth and new ideas. The directors in this festival have certainly been doing just that. Personally, this is my first experience working on a theatre production larger than a single play or script. The festival’s Technical Director and Lighting Designer, Louis Ramirez, along with his exceptional team of stage managers and board operators, have worked tirelessly and innovatively to bring the directors’ visions to life in the TNC space. We are all very excited to present the festival to you and hope to see you there!

WYATT-SELKIRK: The plays in Action Spectrum come out of the course Directing for Theatre, which is a full year theatre practice class in the Department of English, Drama and Theatre Option. Each director selected the play they wanted to direct. The course usually deals specifically with theatrical production, but this year we have two films coming out of the course along with the plays. In the course we engage with the processes of script analysis, production research, planning and decision making, auditions, casting, actor development and coaching, rehearsal techniques, evolving a personalized collaborative process, incorporation of some technical elements and public performance.  I always claim that the central focus of the course is on the actor/director relationship. However, in the second
term the intimate collaboration of the entire class with the producer and technical director is a clear indicator that there is also a focus on putting together a festival of plays as a team. What you will see in the two weeks of the Directing Class Projects (this year called Action Spectrum) is evidence of the vision, creativity and hard work of twelve different directors. Each one has worked since September to develop their own process, which is a marriage of the tools offered in the class with their own history and experience and that of their collaborators.

March 25 - April 5

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