Mayumi Yoshida is one of three directors chosen from among 60 for this year's Pull Festival
Mayumi Yoshida is one of three directors chosen from among 60 for this year's Pull Festival

The Pull Festival, Vancouver’s annual festival of ten minute plays, returns for its sixth year featuring works by Vancouver-based playwrights.

In the final in our series of Q&As with this year’s Pull Festival directors, we chat with Mayumi Yoshida.

Why did you decide to submit your name as a director for one of the shows at this year’s Pull Festival?

I enjoyed being part of Pull Fest as an actor last year, so I knew I wanted to do it again. I was just finishing my own show at the Vancouver Fringe last year that I directed, so I wanted to gain more directing experience.

Tell me about the plays you are directing.

Gemini is about two VR game player who coincidentally meet each other in the “real” world and the repercussions of that. Imagination Tax is a dystopian piece that’s set in the near future, where the act of imagining anything is monitored and taxed by the government. We follow the story of this young married couple who are expecting a child in this dreadful world.

What is it about the play you are directing that excites you the most?

Gemini is fascinating because the struggle and fear and conflict in this play are so real in our daily lives. It’s also a two hander and the actors have crazy chemistry which is so captivating.

Imagination Tax was my first pick when we were able to choose what we wanted to direct. I love the concept.

Both plays are thought provoking and I enjoy those kinds of storytelling.

The plays are just ten minutes in length – as a director does this frighten you or excite you?  Why?

A lot can happen in 10 minutes. So the length doesn’t scare me at all. It’s fun to design the emotional ride for the audience more because of the restriction.

Do you approach directing a short play the same way you do a full-length play?

I believe so.

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?

For both of my plays, the space work perfectly so it ended up being an advantage. It may be a disadvantage for actors and crew because it just means fewer space for them.

Why should someone want to come see the plays you are directing?

As much as I love my two shows, I wouldn’t say they should see my show, because I think the beauty of these ten minute plays is that you experience all the stories one after another in less than 90 minutes.

They should see the Pull Festival to ride that rollercoaster going from one story to another and in the end experiencing six totally different plays and many amazing performers. How awesome is that?

The Pull Festival plays the Little Mountain Gallery (195 East 26th Ave, Vancouver) March 22-25. Visit http://pullfestival.ca for tickets and information.