Wednesday, September 14, 2016

a good way out | directors notes

Anthony F. Ingram is no stranger to the acting community nor to our theatre. Recent directing credits at Pacific Theatre include: THE WHIPPING MAN, THE SEAFARER (nominated for "Best Direction" and winning "Best Production"), 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW, and PLAYLAND (nominated for "Best Direction" and Best Production"). Here is an interview with Anthony on A GOOD WAY OUT.

What excites you about this story?

I'm really excited about working with the group of actors we've been able to assemble for the show. Carl Kennedy and Evelyn Chew are two actors that are always bringing surprising things to the stage - I find their work endlessly inspiring and full of risk. Nothing is off-limits for them. And Andrew Wheeler has such a power on stage that it's frightening. I've watched him mature over the years into a truly weighty performer who dominates the space. I really can't fully articulate how pleased I am that these actors are interested in working with me on this project.

Also, bringing a new play to the world is something quite special.

Are you doing anything different to prepare for this show as a new play, with the playwright at the theatre?

This being Mrs. Norrish's first play to be produced, I want to make sure that she feels part of the process and that we're telling the story that she wants told. I'm so honoured that she wanted me to direct her premier as a playwright. Having her within shouting distance is a real gift as I'll be able to consult with her to make sure that we are staying true to her intentions.

The story is based on gang life in a small town - how does this connect to our lives now in Vancouver? Are you going to try to draw that close-to-home connection for audiences?

Well, it's a reality that's happening all around us whether we're aware of it or not. I think the script leads the audience into that part of our world that many of us - often by choice - ignore. And that is one of things I love about theatre: it can throw light into the darker parts of our world and give us a better understanding of what's going on in places we might otherwise be afraid to look.

Cara describes the play as being about what people will sacrifice for their families - without jumping into spoilers, can you reflect on that a bit? How do you see that theme reflected in this play?

I think there are big sacrifices and small sacrifices. And they are motivated by many different things - not all of them selfless.  Often, we can't really be sure of the nature of those motivations. We can, in fact, make sacrifices for selfish reasons.  It'll be fascinating to tease that apart over the course of rehearsals and then to see what side the audience falls on as they see the story unfold.

Are you doing any research or looking into any resources to prepare?

Not really. I think Cara's put most everything right into the script. Although I must admit, I'm not at all mechanically inclined. So, we may have to do some research on how to take apart a Triumph motorcycle without destroying it.

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