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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

2018 Pull Festival: Q&A with director Pedro Chamale

Chamale directs Donal Thoms-Cappello's Candyland and Pippa Mackie's Her / Them at this year's 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 final installment in our series with this year’s Pull Festival directors, we find out  what brought Pedro Chamale to the festival, and the two plays he will direct.

This interview has been edited.

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

I have been hungry to direct more in the recent years. For the last five years I have only worked on my own work and that of my company, rice & beans theatre. This was a challenge to myself to see if I could take my vocabulary and style of directing and bring it to new people and to a play or plays that I haven’t worked with or created.

Tell us about the plays you are directing.

The plays I am directing are Candyland by Donal Thoms-Cappello and Her / Them by Pippa Mackie.

One is a behind the scenes look at an over the hill actor in the middle of a shoot and the other is a train of thought/spoken word chain of emotion that circles around the theme of love and what it means to open oneself to being loved.

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

I think for Candyland it is playing with the reveal at the end and whether or not what the lead character Rob is telling us is the truth. Hollywood is known for its sense of falsehood and dog eat dog so it is interesting to hear Rob’s stories and peel back what he is really saying.

Her / Them is just so open, it is a play that I think I will be able to explore a wide range of possibilities. Pippa has done a wonderful job at leaving the text rich with textual clues that do not necessarily define the world that we find the main character in, but offers lots to imagine. It is going to be a fantastic challenge to find her journey in a performance that is only ten minutes.

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

It excites me. Since they are only ten minutes with good planning we can get a lot of runs in and a lot of deeper exploration of the full arc of the show. Sometimes with larger plays you don’t get as many chances to run the whole thing in its entirety.

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

I do. Whether its ten minutes or three hours, I have to find what excites me about the play, the images that arise when I read it, what I want to see on stage, and how I am going to get it on that stage. It’s all storytelling. I have to tell the best story that I can with all that is given to me.

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

Candyland is funny, and the cast makes it even more so. Her / Them will have you thinking, damn I’ve totally been there.

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

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