We’ve completed our first week together here in Thunder Bay for this new piece. It’s the first time in those eight years that we’ve worked in Canada and as a Canadian I feel very connected to this content we are generating. I’m surprised how connected I feel. I think because I’ve traveled so much over the years and now because I live mainly in America, it’s been a joy to explore my home country in such an intimate way. The stories unfolding in these rehearsals are eye opening, inspiring , sometimes jarring but always intriguing and evocative. It’s been a joy to listen to these generous participants share their stories and bare their souls and connect and communicate so deeply with each other and with us. It’s been very special and we are trying our best to take care of the stories they are sharing and helping extract from the actors. It’s also been wonderful to immerse ourselves in the nature around us. There is a definite spirit in the city and the air and the stunning water.
On another level, we the directors, have found an interesting and magical alchemy this year. We’ve discovered the ability to work collaboratively in a pretty effortless way, tag teaming and passing the baton to each other in a way that only eight years of pulling and pushing and negotiating would allow us to accomplish. Allowing ego to leave the room and only focus on the piece and how we can contribute to it. Extremely difficult in execution but we’ve thankfully been doing just that. I’m constantly reminding myself how unique this experiment we’ve given ourselves is. We’ve really created a unique way of working in and out of the room, bringing varying and diverse perspectives to the project. We are so lucky to be able to approach this work through our various lenses to make everything rich, layered and nuanced. We’ve collected so much deep material it’s going to be difficult to sift through it all to refine it all down to a cohesive story. But the process so far has been incredibly fulfilling and exhausting and all those things that devising and creating new work from scratch brings. We did not know what the show would be till we met the participants and began hearing and sharing their stories. I’m excited to see where it all leads. It’s taking great shape. We are working on myths both micro and macro and combining everything we’ve collected over the years from the different cultures and ecologies we’ve worked in to continue our journey of finding home. Easy right?
No. But we continue to try.
Now the great work begins.
Evan Tsitsias, Toronto/Houston