Saturday, 17 May 2014

Director's Vision: Highlights of Bea Quarrie's Festival Adjudicator's Workshop

Bea Quarrie's "Director's Vision" Workshop
by Brandon Moore, Communications Coordinator
  • Bea reads a play seven times before she tries to say anything about it, and to see if still holds power
  • Her most recent production was Shrek: The Musical, which she initially thought seemed unlikely
  • She connected with exploring the differences between fables, fairy tales, myths - and how these stories are now access more via Disney's adaptations
  • She wanted to make the characters more like original folk tales, and ended up focusing on a distinct visual style of Russian folk tales (Shrek must look like Shrek, but Humpty Dumpty initially was conceived to look more like a Faberge egg, the Bears looked like Russian bears, the castle looked like a Russian character)
  • Breaks down each scene for atmosphere and environment, relationships, action, plot, design needs; she does this on large sheets of paper which are not shared with the cast
  • When she directed Vern Thiessen's Vimy, her way into the play was exploring the First World War "from the other side" (As shared at the morning adjudication, Bea was raised and learned about the war in Hungary)
  • Because of the poetry of the text, every rehearsal started with a reading of war poetry; cast was instructed to bring in letters or photographs to heighten their personal connection
  • Workshop participants were invited to share their own approaches to finding and articulating vision
  • Also discussed variation in vision, illustrated in the National Theatre of England's Five Truths exhibition
  • She talked about wanting to direct an adaptation of Hedda Gabler; worked hard to find an adaptation she liked before settling on Judith Thompson's
  • Discussed challenge of distilling vision of a play down to one line: demands precision, thoughtfulness, clarity

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