In light of our coming production FourPlays: ABCD, we take the opportunity to find out more from the directors, personally. Here’s what Vertical Submarine has to say about their latest work to be staged.
1. What inspired you to create FourPlays: ABCD?
The richness of the text, the beauty and elegance of the prose from these four diverse authors. All the stories were written in a highly descriptive yet naturalistic manner that puts the reader in an immersive experience. This somehow equates to building an entire world with the use of words.
2. What attracted you to these 4 writers?
With the Latin American (Argentinean) writers, there was a strong sense that the Latin American condition is a parallel to our own; fragmented and heterogeneous but at the same time with an element that is eternal and universal. From this, we can only draw parallels if we ever hope to continue on any path. Any inclination to attempt an intersection will definitely end up at precisely that; an intersection. This is not what we want. We want to continue infinitely and the only way of doing so is by drawing parallels because parallel lines never meet.
With Marguerite Duras, it was the sense of detachment to the corporeal despite the extremely close physical proximity. One is able to feel the sense that the prose is trying to achieve an intimacy that is beyond mere sexual or even romantic pleasure but something almost spiritual and transcendental.
3. What are some issues explored in FourPlays: ABCD? How are these issues relevant to our audiences?
Loyalty and betrayal, losing one’s own space and a sense of impending displacement, failure to achieve intimacy and the decisive moment to act.
We live in strange times where secularism and capitalism rules almost every aspect of our daily lives. Our sense of ethics and social responsibility is often eroded and reduced to what is merely legal out of fear for the Law. But all the more, in these strange days, one needs to realize that sometimes being on the safe side of the law may not necessarily be ethical and socially responsible. Sometimes it is necessary to act decisively even if it means breaking these boundaries.
4. Being primarily a visual arts collective, how has it influenced the creating and directing of FourPlays: ABCD?
Having worked in visual arts for almost a decade now, one comes to realize that the most important thing is not the form it takes but rather the meta-narrative that floats, if you will, about the work. In FourPlays: ABCD we’ve finally learned how to be selective about what is essential to the work and what can remain excluded.
5. Your first attempt at creating Theatre was DUST (2011). How has that experience influenced the making of FourPlays: ABCD?
With DUST (2011), being our first full-scale theatrical experience, we approached it very cautiously and so we built a lot of walls, literally and metaphorically. But the experience has taught us that there are areas within this discipline that begs exploring and so, with FourPlays: ABCD the walls have come down and we’re even willing to sleep with the door open. We are approaching the creative process more openly now i.e. open to suggestions, ideas from the actors in the making of FourPlays: ABCD. This method of creation also resonates with the way we are dealing with the set design.
6. Is there one word that best describes FourPlays: ABCD?
More about Vertical Submarine here