The Pull Festival, Vancouver’s annual festival of ten minute plays, returns for its sixth year featuring works by Vancouver-based playwrights.
In the second of our series of Q&As with this year’s Pull Festival directors, we chat with Jamie King about the festival and the two plays she will direct.
Why did you decide to submit your name as a director for one of the shows at this year’s Pull Festival?
I’ve wanted to work with the Pull for a couple years now. Last year I got in touch about directing, but they had already chosen their directors. I was so excited this year when they opened up for applications and could throw my hat in the ring. Short plays are a very specific and engaging medium, and with a night of them there seems to always be a play for everyone. It’s a sampler pack of theatre.
Tell me about the plays you are directing.
I’m directing two plays, The Rosary by Mack Gordon and The Woman, The Armchair and a Carton of Eggs by Pippa Mackie.
The Rosary is based on a true story, and using verbatim text, this short is about a relationship that is tested by Demonic Possession.
The Woman, The Armchair and a Carton of Eggs is a little harder to describe. It focus on the relationship between “The Man” and “The Woman” while “The Person” sits behind them distracted by a bevy of screens, and speaks to some of the inequality that women are often frustrated by in relationships.
What is it about the play you are directing that excites you the most?
Both have really exciting elements to them. Rosary uses this documentary direct-address narration that is fun to explore and discover the truth of. The Woman is this sharp quick dialogue that is repetitive and abstract that we have had so much fun mining through.
The plays are just ten minutes in length – as a director does this frighten you or excite you? Why?
It’s totally exciting! The pacing has to be completely different then if it was a longer play, and it really demands that you boil down the story to its most essential element – that’s really the only thing you will have time to get across in ten minutes.
Do you approach directing a short play the same way you do a full-length play?
For the most part, yes. You can really take your time with a ten minute play because there’s nothing else you need to work on – no transitions or scene changes – it’s just a sampling of one thing, so it’s much less technical and prep worthy in that way.
This year’s festival returns to its roots at Little Mountain Gallery – it can be a challenging space to work in – do you use it your advantage or is it just another venue?
Challenging spaces are great. I’ve worked on other projects in that space as well, so I know it’s limitations pretty well. Certainly for this project, we are creating the shows for the space that we’re in, so I’m trying to use both its flaws and virtues.
Why should someone want to come see the plays you are directing?
Both of the plays I am working on are by amazingly talented local writers and starring painfully talented local actors which should be reason enough in itself. Certainly for The Woman, The Armchair and a Carton of Eggs I would hope that it sparks a conversation, as it has for every single one of our rehearsals. Besides all that? Pull Fest is honestly just a really fun night – it’s one of my favourite yearly theatre events and it would be a drag to miss it!
The Pull Festival plays the Little Mountain Gallery (195 East 26th Ave, Vancouver) March 22-25. Visit http://pullfestival.ca for tickets and information.