Thursday, 9 November 2017

Stories from the Professional Theatre Training Program: Kelly Wolf

Our Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) offers financial support for unique and flexible training with a chosen mentor in any theatrical discipline (except performance.)

Kelly Wolf trained in creation/dramaturgy with Richard Greenblatt at Tapesty Opera in Toronto

(November 3, 2018)

The last coffee. I have really been enjoying my meetings with Richard and I will miss getting together regularly to talk about ideas. Richard is so passionate about theatre; making theatre, the stories we tell, how we connect, our reasons for making it. Every conversation is full.

We met again yesterday to have a post mortem—to go over what we set out to do. As a part of my internship I was able to observe two very different processes of creation, with artists at various stages in their careers as theatre makers and storytellers. I also produced and directed a Hamilton Fringe production of a new play which Richard generously supported with his feedback.

The last project that I was able to observe, a new opera Hook Up, allowed me to see how the librettist and composer are able to work together to create the piece. I thought that this was the way it was done but apparently in opera they are typically separate disciplines. In our process both librettist Julie Tepperman and composer Chris Thornborrow were able to collaborate to create a stronger piece. They are attempting with this work to change the way opera is created and to evolve the art form. This is exciting—more blurring of the lines.

The internship has also influenced the way I work with the students I teach at Brock University. I am interested in inspiring them with the same passion for storytelling, as well as challenging the perceived silos in which we put ourselves. I think it makes us more interesting artists and the theatre is stronger for it.

I think it comes down to the storytelling. What is the story you want to tell and what is the best way to tell it? How is this production going to clearly tell the story? I don’t think I ever set out with this project to entirely shift the direction of my career. I still love being a designer and creating theatre from that angle. But I have really enjoyed being part of a process from the very beginning of creation. Most design projects don’t start that way, and I will push to be involved at earlier stages in future projects. The internship has also given me greater confidence for creating my own projects. I am about to start collaborating with a filmmaker to create a piece of site-specific theatre. We will use the Westinghouse building in Hamilton to inspire our work. I know the processes I have been fortunate to observe over the past few months to will influence the way that we work together. Richard is still creating his own projects, not waiting for someone to create something for him. I expect this will be the way with me as well. It is what makes me feel like an artist; the compulsion to make the work.  For this I am grateful.

Related Reading:

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is March 1, 2018.

Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

No comments:

Post a Comment