Saudade

Saudade (English: /ˌsaʊˈdɑːdə/,[1] European Portuguese: [sɐwˈðaðɨ], is a emotional state of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one loves.

The process of creating theatre is always a bit bitter sweet. When we create theatre there is always an end inherent in the realization of the piece. In my artistic practice projects are realized over a number of years. In that time, the project is dreamt, refined, edited, and dreamt again in cycles that are the heart of the creative process. I wonder how many micro-decisions go into the making of a piece of art?

For me, I live in the making of a project all the time. It is as if someone moved into my home. A seductive guest who I cannot get enough of.  As time passes, we grow used to each other, we live in and out of each other’s pockets. We eat and sleep together and become entwined growing together towards the common goal of seeing the work grow into itself. The energy of the project becomes as much a part of me as I am a part of it.

And then inevitably, like the height of summer, just as the project reaches its full form, as the lush fruit blushes in the sun… the seeds of its departure take form. As it fully becomes, its end is also written indelibly, its passage engraved in the very genetics of its being.

The feeling is hard to describe. But I think saudade might say it. Beautiful, inevitable, sweet, and transient. That is how theatre feels to me in the wake of making something beautiful.

Alan's Passing

 We have has a special place in its heart for Alan Rickman at Theatre Yes. He was many things - among them he was the force behind the creation of the play My Name is Rachel Corrie which structured the writings of the 24 year old activist killed by bulldozer in Gaza trying to prevent the destruction of a civilian home into a play that was performed around the wold. My Name is Rachel Corrie was produced by Theatre Yes in 2008 and is one of our favourite all time productions. Alan gave voice to Rachel's beautiful writing and paid tribute to her passionate work and hunger for justice, while shinning light on the suffering of a people much of the world would like to think deserve the human rights abuses they endure. It was the first time I worked with brave and amazingly talented Lora Brovold and then stage manager now MD Carrie Fisher. Alan had the grace and generosity to send us a short note of congratulations on our production. It meant a great deal to all of us that he took the time to write to artists in a small theatre company half a world a way which he had never heard of to support us. It was generous, classy and demonstrated a sort of humanity that I'd like to think the best art comes from. We were touched and inspired by his note and at his passing cried a bit about how he made a difference to us here in Edmonton Alberta.

Alan was terrific and beloved actor who played many memorable roles - he was also a thoughtful and passionate creator who saw the potential of theatre to examine complex situations and open our hearts a bit to suffering far away from our own comfortable lives. By taking a lead role in getting Rachel's story to the stage he enabled the intersection of the lives of artists and audiences around the world and made it just a bit more compassionate.  I hope one day to have such an impact. Gods speed Alan.