Friday, October 23, 2015
LITTLE THING, BIG THING - Setting the Stage, Part II: The Irish Experience
Now blogging: Sharon Bajer, director of Little Thing, Big Thing
Sometimes seeing a production of a play you are about to direct is a bad idea, but in this case I already had a vision of how I was going to do it, which was very important. I knew that they did it with a minimal set and created everything out of two chairs with no props or costume changes. This is always excellent, as it requires the audience to use their imaginations. Prairie Theatre Exchange however is a thrust stage with audiences on three sides and it is a very large stage to fill. I wanted to give our PTE audience and my production of LTBT the feel of using only two chairs to keep the focus on the story and the actors and balance that with set, sound, lights, props, video and costumes that would only support the play and not clutter it up too much. AND I didn't have to worry about making the production able to tour.
Going to Ireland to see Fishamble’s production of Little Thing Big Thing was a great experience. I was able to meet with Donal the playwright who performs in the play with actress Socha Fox. The two were wonderful in the show and afterwards as we shared in the traditional Irish post show chats over lots of pints that no one would let me pay for! The director Jim Culleton from Fishamble made me a little map of all of the locations in Dublin that are referred to and I followed the story trail – which was fantastic. I took photos of all of the places in order to help the production team and the actors visualize the setting. Seeing their production did not influence how I was going to do mine, but it made it clear to me just how powerful that show can be and seeing it with an Irish audience was very illuminating I had a slight worry that a Canadian audience might get lost in the dialect, the Dublin centric references and the complex storyline, so clarity in the story would be my ultimate goal.
Next: Part III - Bringing it to life, PTE-style