Thu, 11 April 2013
Quantum Theatre was founded in Pittsburgh in 1990 by Karla Boos. Her goal was to create a company that incorporated world culture and international trends. Quantum has been a nurturing home for Boos' evolution as an artist and for the hundreds of collaborators that have created Quantum's work. These artists draw upon the resources of image, world languages, mixed media, and the power of non-traditional performance sites. Unique to the region, Quantum's productions are staged in places that aren't theatres. They have become a reflection of Pittsburgh itself, expressing the varying character of the city in places ranging from grand museums to the least likely abandoned industrial sites.
Boos often directs, acts and writes for the company. She played a lead role in the play I recently watched called Dream of Autumn by world renowned Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse. I met Boos after her intense performance to talk about Quantum, Fosse and the play.
Sun, 3 March 2013
Waiting for the Barbarians is a novel written by the South African-born Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee. Published in 1980 it won the James Tait Black Memorial and Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prizes for fiction. The book's title comes from a poem by Greek-Egyptian poet Constantine P. Cavafy. American composer Philip Glass wrote an opera based on the book which premiered in 2005.
In August 2012, the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town presented Alexandre Marine's stage adaptation of the novel. The production ran in Montreal at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts throughout January and February, 2013. I met with the play's Canadian-South African producer Maurice Podbrey at his home in Montreal to talk about the play, the novel, Coetzee, South Africa, Barbarians and the challenges of adapting books for the stage.
Mon, 19 January 2009
Now Photo By Steve Payne
"Tanja Jacobs is a well known actress, director, teacher and coach. She has worked in the professional theatre since 1981, and performed at most major theatres in Canada. She has been nominated for ten Dora Mavor Moore Awards and has won twice. As a director, her credits include 1002 Nights, Johann’s Cabinet of Wonders, Goddess, and Mid-Life Crisis . On television, besides her role as federal employee SM3 Sexsmith on Power Play, Jacobs guest starred on many Canadian shows including Ready or Not and Street Legal. Film credits include "Trial by Jury" and "Loser"." She recently finished a run at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa as Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days directed by Leah Cherniak.
Happy Days, written in 1961, observes determined human optimism in the face of a universe without meaning. Winnie, Beckett’s "hopeful futilitarian" is buried up to her waist in the earth, woken and summoned to bed each day by the same disembodied bell. Throughout the days, she performs a series of carefully observed rituals all related to the contents of a worn, old black purse. She combs her hair, applies lipstick, painstakingly examines a toothbrush, toys with a nail file, a tube of toothpaste and a revolver, all the while chattering at her inattentive companion, Willie. Hopeless yet hopeful; bleak yet funny, Happy Days is Beckett’s "testament to the resourcefulness of the human spirit"
Tanja and I talk here about playing Winnie, the difficulty of working at cliff’s edge without a narrative, talking, doing nothing and the need for communication and attention, loneliness, mid-life marriages, revolvers, supportive fellow actors, the quality of attachment and mirroring, the imperative to carry on, suffering and the avoidance of and surrendering to pain in front of an audience, revisiting moments of terror and fright and aloneness and the agony of doing this as someone who has been abandoned, the unbearable parts of being human, and how the use of simple descriptives can generate profound distilled moments, poems of events.
To start off with I quote V.S. Pritchett on Beckett. Read the quote here.
(For more of Nigel Beale's Musings on the Book, Literature, Poetry, Literary Criticism, Collecting, Media, Life and the Arts...please visit http://nigelbeale.com)