A theatre director’s job is to evoke realistic and emotional performances from his actors, but do the ends always justify the means? The Director, written by award winning playwright Nancy Hasty, explores this question, and, more broadly, the nebulous power dynamic between a director and his actors.
Somewhat ironically, the production’s director, Simon Doctor, plays the lead role of a theatre director in the play, further blurring the lines of the actor-director relationship.
Though it is set in the world of New York Theatre, Doctor believes that The Director’s message is universal.
“[The Director has] much to say to Australian audiences about relationships within the theatre world but also, more broadly, about what can occur when there is a power differential between people working on a shared ambition… I think the play looks at this issue in a truthful and subtle way.”
Good theatre is supposed to get people talking, and The Director promises to do just that. The play intentionally leaves the question of “how far is too far?” unanswered, inviting the audience to engage with the performance through conversation and thought. Doctor says:
“I think that for audience members, the process of arriving at the judgement — assuming it is possible to arrive at clear answers to artistic and moral questions — is what will make the play interesting to them.”
If you’ve ever wondered what really goes on behind the scenes in putting on a play, or are just in the mood to be entertained, The Director is worth checking out.
Until Nov 10. The Playhouse at Actors Pulse, 103 Regent Street, Redfern. $30-$38+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.activetheatreproductions.com.au
By Gabe Merkel.