‘I’ by David Hersh
There seems to be a good story behind every show.
I played the “Maid” in a Fringe production of Ionesco’s The Lesson eight years ago. It’s not a big part; and I would sit backstage, alone, in a space only big enough for a chair, in the pitch dark, for most of the play, and tried to keep from falling asleep – most of us have experienced this at least once in our theatre lives. Then during one show I had this idea. While referencing the cyclical events between the Professor and his Pupils, I, as the Maid said “This is the fortieth time this has happened and each time the same thing.”
‘BING!’ I had an idea.
I thought it would be interesting if there was one Professor for each time the ‘event’ took place; that slowly, throughout the play, the one Professor would grow to be an army of 40 Professors. I imagined what the dynamic would be to play the gradual domination of the Pupil by adding more and more men into the mix; physically manipulating and interacting with her. Coming from a physical theatre background I felt it would be a visceral experience for audiences. All these thoughts in the darkness of my little backstage waiting area.
Time passed and I got involved in other shows but the idea always played in my head. Then it came time to direct The Lesson. I was excited, my dream would come true. But not quite. Although I could get the rights to the play, I couldn’t do what I wanted with it because the Estate of Ionesco is very ‘by the book’ when it comes to production. I wrote letters, travelled to Paris, I made phone calls but to no avail – it was not going to happen. But that wasn’t going to stop me – or it was but in a different kind of way. The trials and tribulations in my quest to direct The Lesson led me to write my own play using that idea that came to me years before.
I delved into it completely, and now I am thrilled to see it live on stage. Eight years of patience. Eight years of creative brooding and brewing. Eight years and now I get to share it. It’s a unique piece of theatre. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, it’s intriguing.
We have an incredible, hardworking and dedicated team of artists from all points of the production spectrum and I am honoured to be in the midst of it all.
Check out our blogsites above, FaceBook: Pulse Theatre Collective, and Twitter @PulseTheatre.
‘I’ is playing in the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace.
Thursday August 4 – 10:30pm
Saturday August 6 – 12:30pm
Sunday August 7 – 8:00pm
Thursday August 11 – 5:30pm
Saturday August 13 – 3:00pm
Sunday August 14 – 10:00pm
Playwright/Director: David Hersh
Assistant Director: Megan Watson
Musical Director: Nick Carpenter
Production Designer: Anna Treusch
Assistant Production Designer: Kai Masaoka
Stage Manager: Susanne Lankin
Assistant Stage Managers: Andrea Baggs and Agnes Debinska
Poster Designers: Fiona Currie and David Whiteley
I: David Macniven
Writer: Emmanuelle Zeesman
Concierge: Michelle Polak
CHORUS & MUSICIANS:
Philippe Van de Maele
Martin Mark Marczyk