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Monday, May 23, 2011

The Upstage Interview: David di Giovanni

Photo credit: Richard Muller

A conversation about FOUR: Yourself with David di Giovanni, General Manager of The MAP Project. 
By Estelle Rosen

To start with, could you explain what MAP stands for and its origin. 

Mind Action Personality  started when my colleague Rio Mitchell and her partner Bella Kline had done an installation where they filmed themselves for an hour at various times. They became very interested in banal moments.  Rio Mitchell was interested in how to put these banal moments on stage. We started with ONE a year ago. We get together. We film ourselves,  transcribe,  and try to make a narrative out of that.

Would you say it’s generational?

I think it’s of a generation. We’re all in our mid-twenties, but what we’re dealing with doesn’t  necessarily apply only  to our generation. 

Tell us about verbatim script. Is it documentary. Multimedia? 

Somewhere in between. If reality TV was turned into theatre it might be something like that.

What’s the next step for MAP?

After FOUR, we’re going to do a monthly series at the Mini-MainLine Theatre. A lot of the work we do is research based, trying out new forms with material we get. This will be a great venue to continue our explorations.

We’re also going to do a Journal. We’re in the midst of creating it. I’m in the process of editing it. It’s a type of zine. We’ve invited other artists to create work or write articles based on similar themes we’re dealing with. We hope to have it up by May 25

I don’t think it’s easy to identify; this is what’s going to happen or not happen; but I think the change is readable.

When we go see this piece,what are we going to see?  Is it a play?

There’s a narrative to follow; maybe a bit more abstract. No finite characters. We do use our own words, we also take words from movies, TV, film, songs. There are people on stage going through an action together and facing obstacles. I don’t think it’s easy to identify; this is what’s going to happen or not happen; but I think the change is readable.

We all come with different things we like to throw together.

How did you get involved in this project?

Two years ago, I was part of  Fringe show Just Us. The idea was; is it possible to be autenthic on stage?  Is that what theatre is about; live performers on stage? This is my focus of interest. I’m interested in performers on stage; is there a way to find authenticity with performer and audience. Rio and Bella are interested in new editing techniques, production and live presences interacting together. We all come with different things we like to throw together.

What was your main interest in theatre school?

I was part of Theatre and Development progam at Concordia. It’s a pretty vague progam;  people are in it for various reasons. Generally speaking,  this program uses theatre as a tool  for one reason or another. I was very interested in that. 

The MAP project comes out of  melding of disciplines. Finding a middle ground for visual art, photography, etc. Concordia used to separate Performing  Arts from Visual Arts on different campuses. There is this divide  between the two communities which is unfortunate. Now they’ve come together.

All artists in MAP Journal will be showcasing their work at MainLine Theatre as a type of vernissage in the lobby. This is our way of getting more people involved.

FOUR: Yourself: The MAP Project
May 25-28 
MainLine Theatre

1 comment:

  1. This is an exciting project, but I want to quickly comment that the Theatre and Development program at Concordia is far from 'vague'. It can be multidisciplinary, yes, and leaves plenty of room for exploration, but the mandate and definitions of 'TDEV' are clear.


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