Ilana Zackon is one of three directors at this year's Pull Festival.
Ilana Zackon is one of three directors at this year's Pull Festival.

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

In the latest in our series with this year’s Pull Festival directors, we find out more from Ilana Zackon about what brought her to the festival, and the two plays she will direct.

This interview has been edited.

Why did you decide to submit your name to direct at this year’s Pull Festival?

I had recently moved from Montreal to Vancouver when I heard about the festival and was encouraged to submit. I was super excited about meeting other artists in town and getting involved in the theatre community.

Tell us about the plays you are directing.

Teddy Bears by Jordy Matheson is a dark comedy, or as the writer puts it: “a mix of cosmic horror and farce”. It is about a quirky teddy bear collector who invites a mysterious and hunky stranger over for a Tinder date.

An Assertive Girl by Allyson Fournier is a naturalistic two-hander about the difficulties of communication between a young woman and the man she has accused of sexual assault.

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

They are so incredibly different. Directing comedy is always super fun and I also love working with really realistic texts and layered characters, so, it’s a kind of a best-of-both-worlds situation.

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

Probably more excited than scared. In some ways it’s easier because then you have more time to go deeper into the details. We’re working within a short rehearsal period, so we can really hone in on the story without having to tackle 90-minutes worth of material.

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

Both stories are really intriguing and I think the actors really bring the characters to life. Teddy Bears had the whole company dying of laughter at our first read through, and An Assertive Girl is a really charged play with an important dialogue that shows both sides of the story, which I think is really important.

Pull Fest VII takes place at the Little Mountain Gallery (195 East 26th Ave, Vancouver) March 21-24. Visit http://pullfestival.ca for tickets and information.