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Monday, January 31, 2011

The Upstage Interview: Director Liz Valdez

Today we are beginning a new CharPo weekly feature, fruit of our partnership with Upstage: Theatre on Radio (CKUT). Each week we will be sharing with you the highlights of an interview done by an Upstage contributor with one of Montreal's theatre practitioners.

CKUT Upstage contributor and CharPo senior contributor Sarah Deshaies conducted an interview with Director Liz Valdez. Below is an abridged version of the interview transcribed by Estelle Rosen, CharPo Editor-in-Chief.

Humans is a collection of fifteen short stories. Asked to sum up Humans
into a  couple sentences, Valdez sees it as a look into the human spirit…the human condition, the thing that links us all, encompassing the dark or light that lives within human nature. There is beauty in the fact we have both dark and light in us. 

Humans can also be seen as a celebration of the human condition in all of its complexities. We’re multi faceted beings. We can focus on one part of ourselves but we can also look at all sides of us, at the things we hide. We feel we’re the only ones who think that. But some of us may go a bit further than that. Some of these stories are dark, beautiful, sad, and lovely. We’re touched by these people even though some of the stories are harsh…

In her third year in theatre at Concordia, Valdez decided to do an independent study in directing. She came across these short stories which were af the end of Daniel MacIvor’s piece House and had not been included.

These fifteen stories … hit me more viscerally than any other play. I wanted to explore how to tell these stories viscerally, through movement, through dance,  without letting go of the narrative, to really sink my teeth back into it.  Being older, with more life experience,  can understand them in a  deeper sense… First time she read these stories, she wanted to show them. Now more interested  in how we choose to cope, move, feel.  

Humans was always in the back of her mind to direct one day.   …Challenges are different now. No judgment about these characters; we need to find what’s under the surface…

Tableau d’Hote had been wanting to present Humans for some 5 years. Valdez always wanted to do Humans since her school production. They both came to it from a different place but have been able to come together and make it  a reality.

For Valdez …these stories leave one with suspension of the next moment; what will happen next…

Asked what was anticipated from audience,  Valdez believes … everyone will have something to talk about after the show. Everyone will identify for a different reason, in a different manner, with each of the stories…

Feb. 5-13

1 comment:

  1. Liz Valdez is a Visionary (in the fields of humans & theatre).
    This show will be extraodinary.
    Can't wait!


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