Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Stories from the Summer Theatre Intensive: “Directions on Directing” with Andrew Lamb

By Ironda Campbell (Morgantown, West Virginia, USA)

My experience at Theatre Ontario’s Directions on Directing: From Page to Stage intensive was pretty awesome. As a new playwright, (for some time now) I have been in search of workshops, seminars, and/or intensives that will hone my skills and insight in all things ‘theatre’. I want to produce and direct my own plays. It’s a tall order, but procuring the necessary mentoring and coaching that can come from offerings like those presented by Theatre Ontario is a big head start.

My trek began with an internet search of theatre offerings in the form of workshops, seminars or intensives in North America…something I could engage in during summers, breaks or on weekends. What followed was a process by some entities that invited applications for their perusal, all followed by emails that announced that their classes were filled and feel free to apply again… Then I saw the Theatre Ontario website and course offerings. I was excited to see the description of the work that would be undertaken in the Directing intensive. I applied and held my breath, hoping that I wouldn’t receive another classes are filled; please feel free to apply again… response. What’d ya know? There was room in the session, and I was on my way!

At first I thought, this thing is in Canada…should I travel that far? I weighed the logistics of my trip against the training opportunity and gave it a nod. Mapquest and I drove from Morgantown, West Virginia to Peterborough, Ontario. I got lost just past downtown Toronto, but the people were friendly and helpful with directions.

Ironda and classmates 
I can assure you that the guided instructions and work that I received from Andrew Lamb was worth all my efforts. The design of the intensive allowed for everyone in the cohort to direct their own chosen pieces. Each cohort member also served as actors in another director’s piece. I loved the work, the instruction, and the camaraderie that came from collaborating with fellow directors. This was good stuff! 

In short, I would gladly do it all over again…and, probably not get lost this time. I look forward to connecting with other theatre mentoring workshops/classes/intensives offered by Theatre Ontario in the coming years. Thank you, my new friends!

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