Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Alfred Rietmann (Page 2 of 2)

Finally; The Tent. Up and Open

Yay. From today there will be other things in my life. We opened last night and I was really happy. I like this play. I love my designer Alfred Rietmann and his set and lights, and Pitchie Rommelaere’s  phenomenal sound. I adore my stage manager Lucas Macuphe. But, most importantly I am completely in love with my extraordinary, talented, diverse, committed and gorgeous cast. Indulge me. I am going to list them and extol their virtues.

Sizwe Msutu. Accomplished, magnetic, powerful. Brilliant story teller and character actor. A rock and a pivot. A star.

Nicola Hanekom. I am in awe of this, one of South Africa’s most shit hot actresses. She is unbelievable. Most talented, beautiful, committed, emotional, connected and creative. She takes the character Ruth to another place.

Pierre Malherbe. So, so good, A director’s actor. Questioning, involved and super skilled. This guy makes the play.

Nelson Chileshe Musonda. Gorgeous. Talented. Delightful. Hilarious. nobody else could be Samson.

Leon Clingman. Creative, serious, intelligent, hardworking. He turned the character of Charlie into a person.

Albert Pretorius. I love watching this guy. Mark my words. He is going places. Brilliant. Catch him in the incredible …miskien at The Intimate later this month.

Deborah Vieyra. She stepped in at short notice and made my life so easy. A delightful, charming, gorgeous actress.

Lungelo Sitimela. Hilarious, hard working, intuitive. An old fashioned, proper, real actor.

A cast from the theatre gods. Thank you for making my dream come true.

Grace

Every day for the last while I have been choosing one word for my Facebook status. Sometimes they are silly or funny; sometimes they are serious, personal or meaningful. Today’s word was grace. I love that word. It has such a good attitude about it. And it is also a poetry word. So much so, it inspired my friend Phillippa Yaa De Villiers who left her whole, magnificent poem, Grace, as a comment.

It was an inspired choice of word for me too today because it epitomised how I am feeling about my work on The Tent. Loving it. I am filled with the grace of my cast, and the really beautiful work they are doing. They move from moment to moment like dancers, playing with nuance and meaning, emotion and technique, and I am learning from them and delighting in them. It’s a cast of eight, so I don’t want to go into detail about each one’s magnificence here. Instead I am going to list their names so you know who I am talking about. Sizwe Msuthu. Nicola Hanekom. Pierre Malherbe. Nelson Chileshe Musonda. Albert Pretorius. Leon Clingman. Deborah Vieyra. Lungelo Sitimela.

I am also graced with a brilliant technical team, stage manager, asm, crew. And the designer Alfred Rietmann, who, when he is not in his office, is scratching in the skip for builder’s junk to use for our set. He is from that old school of thought. Theatre runs in that man’s blood. He loves it. His love has no boundaries, work hours, limitations. He is one of those ‘anything is possible’ guys. I am so lucky to have him.

Tomorrow morning is when we do a full, proper run of the play. I am beside myself with everything. I am saying grace.

THE TENT REH 09 010

Pre The Tent twitches

The TENT FINAL ART WORK We start rehearsing The Tent on Monday, so my mind is full-up with it. I am full of the usual pre-rehearsal anxiety; is the script good enough? Do I know what I’m doing as a director? Can a writer/director do justice to the script and honour the actors? Have I done enough prep? Once we get stuck in to rehearsals those feelings will dissolve, morph and develop. New things will occupy that now space of nervous/neurotic anticipatory panic.

I have an amazing, mostly new cast to work with. Last year’s ‘showcase’ was an excellent try out, and the response helped mould and develop the play further. It was also easy to nag people to come and see the four performances last time. This time we have a full two week run; and I have to say, I’m in that omigodwhatwillpeoplethink space.

It’s hard to understand all my feelings. I am mostly graciously thankful to The New Writing Programme that Artscape runs, for their belief in and support of my work. I really have properly benefited from this amazing process that gives space, time, energy, advice, and most importantly, budgets to new South African playwrights.

TENT MODEL 005 DONE One of my blessed moments is having found a designer who totally, completely gets my work. Alfred Rietmann helped me stage the showcase, and this time around he is designing set, costume and lights. I am absolutely in love with what he is doing. He also designed the gorgeous poster BTW.

I have mixed feelings about the content of my play. It’s mostly about how South Africans don’t and can’t manage strangers; whether they are foreigners, people who believe different things, people with different sexual orientations and even just outsiders. It’s pretty bleak and not ‘happy ending’ stuff. That’s quite hard to sell, even though I believe the message is so important. It’s not all doom and gloom though. I find it funny too. So, how do you merge those things? How do you find the balance? And who is the you I keep banging on about when I should be saying I? Hectic.

So, luckily I am running the second weekend of the TheatreSports training course this weekend. It is a big, time and energy consuming task. and for some hours my head will not be filled with the The Tent The Tent The Tent The Tent!

Teching The Tent

Is what we did yesterday; plotting Alfred Rietmann‘s lighting design and working out how the sound cues, created and designed by Pitchie Rommelaere, work.

I also messed around on Big Friendly’s old digital camera that I have inherited.

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Alfred’s production design

The Tent Design A Rietmann

Beautiful drawing by Alfred Rietmann for The Tent.

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