We asked two of our dedicated cast members to write a blog entry answering some questions about the show and their experiences so far. Take a peek below to learn more about the show from the perspective of the cast! Special thanks to cast members Smita Misra and Nicolette Pearse for writing these blogs for us!
BLOG # 1
1. In your own words, what is Penelope Waits all about?
… Waiting. Sorry, that’s not original, nor is it my own word, but it’s about waiting.
2. Since this is a new piece, what has the rehearsal process been like?
The first few weeks were spent experimenting, creating, choreographing and working with the text in separate groups to get it off the page. Since then, we’ve been been tweaking, learning, and tightening the piece… And climbing steps.
3. What has been your favourite part of the process so far?
The set! Yay for playgrounds as playing space. Otherwise, marvelling at the wide range of talents in the cast and crew is my second most favourite thing to do.
4. What is the number one thing that you hope that an audience member watching Penelope Waits will take away from it?
The experience. Please don’t expect a story, there isn’t one. I hope that you can sit, watch, and experience each moment for what it’s worth and find your unique way to relate to it. As we say in rehearsals: “it’ll be over before you know it”
5. If you could describe this experience in one word, what would that word be?
— Smita Misra
BLOG # 2
For me, Penelope Waits is about exploring the theme of “waiting” within theatrical conventions; it is very much an intellectual process, but the performance is a compilation of different physical, vocal, poetic manifestations of different moods, perspectives, and ideas on “waiting”.Since the piece is brand new and partially devised in rehearsal, the work put into this show has been both frustrating and rewarding. As a performer, it is exciting to be part of the creative process and to feel a sense of ownership over the material. I know that the cast the crew are very proud of the work they have done because it is a piece that is unique to this particular group of people, and this particular time and place.
My favorite parts of the process were when a group of us came up with an idea for a piece in the script, created a framework, then brought it to the larger group and managed to realize our original vision. Most often this took a lot of tweaking and rethinking – sometimes even starting from scratch – but the end result was a sense of accomplishment and ownership. Because of this process the show is incredibly diverse and is very much a reflection of the director and the cast and crew members who were willing to put their ideas forwards. The result is an overwhelming and eclectic performance which will certainly confuse, dazzle, and amuse all at the same time. With that in mind, I hope the audience approaches this piece with the expectation that it is not perfect – and by no means even finished – but it has a lot to offer and will, at the very least, entertain.
— Nicolette Pearse