|A social visit between good friends?|
A couple of months ago when I heard what the companion piece would be for our show I drew a blank. I would. I am a complete philistine. Now before you judge me too harshly, I do think that I have done a brilliant job of catching up from a wasted youth that consisted of a literary diet of mostly trashy romance novels. Sadly (and obviously) there are still gaping holes in my cultural and intellectual education. On the plus side there is a whole world of wonder still out there for me to tap into which you jaded old sophisticates have become cynical about. But back to the story. In a state of casual ignorance I told Bryan (light of my life, etc, etc, bla, bla, bla) that Juliska was directing a play called “Unveiling” by Vaclav Havel. Bryan gets all animated He says “Vaclav Havel? As in the first president of the Czech Republic? Statesman and philosopher, Vclav Havel?" I think to myself that with a name like that there can't be too many people with that name knocking about so I said, very slowly, "Yeassss that one." And then rushed off to do a whole bloody google search on the man. Wow pretty impressive fella and a playwright to boot. What I found particularly interesting was that he had written three plays that include the character of Ferdinand in them. Now of course I want to see them all. That is the problem with life, once you experience a bit of something you like you want a whole lot more of it.
I was delighted with what I saw in the tech rehearsal and in the dress rehearsal. I loved the flow and structure of the script. I thoroughly enjoyed the treatment given to the play by Juliska and I squirmed in guilty delight while I identified with the characters so intuitively played by the talented cast. If you are honest with yourself, really honest with yourself, you will recognize a bit of you and your friends in the production. You might be high minded and choose not to identify with the characters of Michael and Vera, delightfully played by our friend Hani Yakan and newcomer Melissa Rae Brown, but I am afraid that there were definitely times in my life when I know there was a bit of them in me or is it me in them? Conversely I found myself identifying with the poor unfortunate Ferdinand ( another newcomer and great find , Jesse Macpherson) maneuvering his way around a very awkward social visit. Although, truth be told, I am not sure I could hold my tongue for so long.
I had a few questions that I put to Juliska. Here are the questions and her responses:
Who approached who with the idea?
How did you come to the decision to direct this particular play by Havel and why not one of the other Ferdinand pieces?
You worked with Tamas ( Juliska's husband) on this production: What particular skills did the two of you bring to the show?
How did you come up with the design for the poster?
Any surprises for the audience in the producible that you can share?