Phil Rickaby
Welcome to Episode 219 of Stageworthy I’m your host Phil Rickaby. Stageworthy is a podcast about people in Canadian theatre featuring conversations with actors, directors, playwrights and more. In this episode, playwright and director Beatrice pizanno. Now this this episode marks four years of Stageworthy and I wanted to take another moment to thank you for listening to Stageworthy, I have loved having the opportunity to bring you this show and I hope that you’ve enjoyed listening. If you have, I would love it if you’d leave a five star review on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts, those reviews, help new people find the show. And thank you for listening. If you want to drop me a line to tell me about somebody I should have on the show or if you found a play because you heard about it on Stageworthy, I would love to hear from you. You can find Stageworthy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @stageworthypod and you can find the website at stageworthypodcast.com. And if you want to drop me a line, you can find me on Twitter and Instagram @PhilRickaby. And My website is PhilRickaby.com.

Before I get to my conversation with Beatrice pizanno. I wanted to tell you about a show that’s coming to the next stage festival, every silver lining, but I thought the best way to do that would be to invite one of the CO creators of the show Laura Piccinin in to come and tell us about it.

Hey, Laura.

Laura Piccinin
Hey,

Phil Rickaby
um, could you just give me just a quick sort of elevator pitch about every silver lining?

Laura Piccinin
Yeah, sure. Every silver lining is just essentially feel good musical about death and grief. It’s told through the stories of teenagers after they lose their friend to cancer. The show’s going to take you through the entire gamut of human emotion. But you’re gonna leave the theatre with this sense of catharsis and belonging with at least one song stuck in your head. That’s awesome. Yeah, it’s a it’s a dramedy. So even though it gets really deep and dark. There’s some comedy to add this levity that everyone really enjoys. It keeps you sane throughout the show. We’re so ready and so excited. We’ve revamped it. Since we performed at fringe, we’ve done some staging changes, we’ve changed some music, some dialogue, we’ve added in a couple cast members. So this really feels really fresh. And this time we have microphones, which is going to be great. So the sound is going to be so much better. Just really nice musical wall of sound that’s really curated.

Phil Rickaby
Thanks so much. I’m looking forward to it.

Thank you,

and you can find tickets to every silver lining at the Toronto fringe website fringe toronto.com. As I mentioned, my guest is Beatrice paisano. Beatrice is the artistic director of aluna Theatre Canada’s first Latin Theatre Company. aluna Theatre in association with Nightwood theatre presents the solitudes from January 7 18th at the harbourfront Centre Theatre in Toronto.

So why don’t we start by talking about the show?

Beatrice Pizano
Mm hmm.

Phil Rickaby
Which is called The Solitude. Yeah. So I know that I was reading a little bit and I know that it’s inspired by a novel by Gabrielle Garcia. Marquez, but can you tell me a little bit about about what the solitude is about?

Beatrice Pizano
Yeah. Well, you know, we started. Let’s see, where did I? Where did it begin? I was in a beach in Colombia, in the land of Marcus. And I rereading after many, many years, I have two weeks at the beach house and I say okay, this is the time to reread 100 Years of Solitude. I am there, and I am in this land and so close to you know, the reality of the book and, and I was there and they started seeing images of women in, in the lunar space in our rehearsal room, it’s just they start appearing of these women. And, and what you know after finishing the book and virtually, I was in a place where there’s no way of getting out of there and there’s a motorcycle picks you up at the beach house, and then you drive for two hours until you can get into somewhere in civilization. So I had the last page and I could hear the motorcycle come into, and I said, I can’t get on that motorcycle without reading it. And I read the last page and I went, oh my god. So I came back and there was this opportunity to apply for the new chapter grant from the council. And I just went like, okay, whatever, you know, like, they say, to dream, your dream. And for me my dream I mean, we have been very influenced by the collective creation from the Colombian collective creation because La Candelaria theatre has been quite influential in our work and how we approach the collective creation and how we have adapted it to to work in in Canada. And my dream was why do you think can really have the thing that component of collective creation which is so necessary, which is to be able to work as an assemble for an extended period of time? Because here, we get three, four weeks of rehearsal and acid and maybe a few workshops here and there within two, three years, you know, and I just went, oh, wow, okay, I’m just gonna apply. And I also wanted for me was to try and I create from a different model, and to see how we made what we want to talk about. And so the collective creation in that sense is very good because

San Diego Garcia, the founder of La Candelaria, which says that the collective creation eventually unlocks the collective unconscious and the group will decide what they want to talk about, through many mean improvisations, they start finding distilling the thing. So one thing I knew was that what really attracted me to the book this time was the women. Hmm. And that was going, they’re so stubborn. I go, like, just change your mind, it would be so easy. And then you can either select by when a woman in that book took a decision, there was nothing that could change it. And and in a way I went, Wow, there’s something tragic about that. But there’s something very powerful and then I started feeling because that book is so much about the history of Latin America, the history of Colombia, and the war is very interesting because mark is doesn’t put a single date in the whole novel. So, you know, not at all. But but but knowing our own history and and of course, this one, he puts certain references like the the massacre in the banana in the banana zone when the Chiquita Banana was there and there was a big massacre, and is one of the most moving parts of the book where, you know, they put like 3000 bodies in a train and throw them in the water. And the next day nobody remembers is like, What do you mean? So, we started with the book. So we started reading acid, okay, we have we got the grant. So we have the dream world, I wanted a way to be able to employ eight women be able to pay them well and pay them for an extended period of time for us to have the time to actually be in a room and just imagine and create without the pressure of production. And I also wanted to be able in that process to offer these women different kinds of training because I’ve been very Like you’re being able to go for I, you know, like in 2003 or something, I decided this goal that I wanted to go every year to different master class in Europe, right? So, so I started finding my favourite places and but I would go there and go, Wow, I’m getting this knowledge but I come back and nobody has it. Because I get the grant, I get to be lucky to go and tap. So I went on, there’s so many things that I just I just, you know, we don’t we don’t. I wanted us to be able to experience that to spend a whole week working with somebody just in viewpoints. I just like no pressure to create absolutely anything. Because what I do believe is those things really get in the body and they start they will show up again when they need to show on. So we started by reading the book, and, and I kind I copy a lot of things from people that I have heard doing things that I know they’re one of the director from the just canny company from from Peru, Miguel One day how he created this show of antiva. He asked his actress to do their research. And then as they went along, she would have to give conferences to the whole ensemble on on on the development of her project and all the research he had done. So the book The translation that we had had about 200 pages. So I divided in 20 pages and we began with you go, you read the 20 pages, you come back and you tell it to us. Right. And that was also what had impacted them so that each woman was responding to that. Then they of course, they got enamoured with a character sport because who doesn’t with all Sula be laughter Neda Vivek Miranda and so they started we started improvising sir I would bring a theme to improvise on and they would just come and improvise. Ah, this is the first time that I have Something like this, and I think I’m gonna work like this from now on. I recorded absolutely everything. So the camera will be running the eight hours a day of rehearsal. And the most interesting thing was the conversations that we had after Hmm. And that actually became the dialogue of this piece. So we began creating, like, all his represent also landed, and we went, No. And the piece guided us, which is Oh, it makes me very emotional, guided me for the search of the truth, right. And so what happens in that search of truth and I feel in this moment in time when the truth is become this very, I think is more needed than a, you know that at any other time, but it’s like, there was another day that came with a game with an improvisation that has said, What is your relationship to this land?

Unknown Speaker
Do a Ted Talk. And these women are amazing. Yeah, the next day each came with a half an hour TED Talk. And they, you know, they loved it. And they came in with the TED Talk. And what that did, I never asked them any other questions about that. But the women said trees in their bloodline. So you know, the history of Michelle with her history of her grandfather being the only one in your bloodline to survive Auschwitz Lera with her history of genocide of the Armenian genocide and tracing that crossing of the desert of her family and the generations and and and Roma for her they African triangle and tracing back, you know, the blood back to Africa, but also, like, Africans learning about what happened to the ones here that they you know, she has a lot of, she likes to be provocative terrorists, I call her so she’s gonna say pretty, pretty interesting things on stage. Each woman inside tracing you know with Britney, she started for her the history for her her history began with the she has this line is no longer in the play, but it says the history of Canada is the history of residential school. So, so all these different ways of tracing with Sophia. You know when she comes here Sophia is a young, very young woman who came from Mexico. And for her being here, she started like, she didn’t know when I asked her to do a TED talk. She started looking into the history of Mexican going, Oh my god, I missed it. So you know, I’m like, you know, my father is really dark. My mother is really you know, so she started tracing that, that those lines as well with Liliana. She comes from Colombia and she’s you know, so she for her she traces it to a more personal level and, and she really takes on in a way the mark is thing about Like we cannot normalise violence that’s not an option. And, and, and with Chinese, you know, which takes it. Janice came into the into the, into the project later and I was just going to use images because she’s, she’s she trains her body in a very specific way and so I invited her Oh, you’ll be I don’t know the land I had no idea okay how can somebody be the land? Maybe you’ll a wolf I don’t know. But you know she also came as she came here as I work in she’s both

Beatrice Pizano
European she’s Miꞌkmaq she is she she has black indigenous and European is her bloodline. So and she’s been raised in you know, as an indigenous woman. Oh, my God, that’s the Americas. Yeah, all these things coming together. So and then and so the solid is was open. What is solitude. Right. And, and that what has taken for us I think, in a way as I as I sit here today, doing these rehearsals, and of course they were in rehearsals, but the script is still changing, you’re putting this thing that has been gathered from a lot. I think I probably transcribe around 300 hours of teams. And then I went to band for three weeks or five weeks, I just was in a cabin just like, you know, like, and trying to make sense of these pieces that are that are trying to find that connection and they were very connected, but there were individual pieces. And when women started talking, one of the discoveries that we also made when we miss are talking about things are live and that we immediately said you can never say you personally I and so for me it was very important that those eight women on stage only represent themselves that we’re not putting the thing is just eight views. Yeah. I’m owning that, and therefore, they’re very vulnerable because they there’s nothing, there’s not a single lie in this practice. So even the lines that I, even if I put one line that they hadn’t said, this script wouldn’t allow me. It was like, so that was the beauty of that these discovering this process that I took all they wrote and wrote, because we were writing the room a lot. So I would go through the text and edit trying to form you know, structure. But anytime I tried to solve a structure a problem with one of my lines, hmm, because I hadn’t written in my writing was different. And so in path I was going, I’m writing the play that I have not written. How do I do as a playwright this thing, and so it’s been extremely challenging, but also very liberating, and also What I feel that that that the opportunity of these specific grant was, we probably won’t get this kind of funding ever again, because we’re a small independent company. But we say like I say, well, we got nothing to lose. Yeah, we’re gonna risk everything that we want to try our women. Are these particular women, how do we want to speak in theatre? How do we want to speak about ourselves and the world as we see it? What responsibilities do we take as women in this? There’s an exercise that we did, and I tried to keep it up. I have this rule that until I convinced myself that it doesn’t go in, in the script. Interesting that we talked about privilege. I wanted to recognise that we’re very privileged. Mm hmm. You know, it doesn’t matter where we have come from is we have women in this place that come from all sorts of places in life. Some people have had, many people have had many hard lives regardless, right? But But still, we’re in a place where we can speak Yeah, we’re as women, we’re not in the same danger that in other places, I think is a very exciting time in life. I mean, I always like to think in the positive, although we have all these things that seem overwhelming and they are. But at the same time, I think there’s also a time when I see all these protests that are going on, whether they haven’t eventually I mean, some are having the effect of at the other day, there was a picture last week of 5 million women in India holding hands like a chain the human chain and so India being such one of the most dangerous places for women. So we also wanted to celebrate we never even use the word we don’t use words that describe anything it nor patriarchy not any. We’re not interested in that language. We’re not interested in attacking absolutely anything. That’s not how we’re coming at these, we’re just kind of owning the place and having the guts to express our ideas that somebody may agree with us and somebody may not agree with us. And so taking that chance as an artist as well, of what it takes to own your own words, and not be hard, not hide behind the character. So when I start telling them well, you’re you’re acting a character of yourself that was very confusing at the beginning. I we ourselves are not well, we’re always kind of a character in some ways, but the truth is in you, and I, and I know because I I’ve done some one woman shows and I usually my work is very, very personal.

Is, is very challenging. It’s so challenging to learn the lines that you wrote, is incorrect. I don’t know why.

Phil Rickaby
I know this. I knows myself for my own solo show. I wrote it and I thought, no problem I wrote No, but it’s a completely different world. of your brain. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever learned. I know.

Beatrice Pizano
And the other problem is that you want to edit on your feet. Oh,

Phil Rickaby
yes, yeah.

Beatrice Pizano
I had to put my foot down today, no more editing. Because, you know, that’s the trap, right? And he’s like, because he’s so easy to hide behind something else. And I just went, if we want to is a call to action, a call to the truth to honouring the truth and live, you know, like, let’s bring back truth into this world. Like, let’s not, let’s not bind to this craziness that’s going on that is okay to accept lies, you know, publicly and he’s like, what? In this absurdity that that that the lie, the more you repeated, it becomes a true yeah. And it’s like, wow, that daddy’s that that blows my mind. And I go, and I go, we are stronger. We’re stronger. You know, you know, we’re, we’re made to feel that we’re not but I do believe in the power of people and Power of people going no more like what’s happened in Chile things, you know that massive demonstrations and not giving up? Right. And that I think they had taken that power away from us thinking that there’s no power in that, but I think eventually I have to believe that eventually this power,

Phil Rickaby
I have to agree with you. Yeah, um, one of the things that how long from the time that you cast the show? Yeah, till now what’s that rehearsal? What? Cuz we’ve been talking with the length of time too.

Beatrice Pizano
Yeah, yeah. How long is that? Let’s see. It’s been like two years. I think in January, it’s gonna be two years. So because we were lucky to have we started like a three week rehearsal. So we have had a sporadic throughout the two years, we have had training weeks that we’re just training and others that are just like, maybe, maybe, let’s say 10 weeks in total a year. Yeah,

Phil Rickaby
yeah. Yeah. Because you can’t collect them creation and I’ve done some of it, but it’s Doesn’t work within the as your, as you sort of said doesn’t work within the usual engagement contracts three weeks, two weeks, you can’t create a show. You can’t do collective creation in three weeks. And so you have to it takes time.

Beatrice Pizano
Yeah.

Phil Rickaby
Um, so having that time and pulling all this together. I mean, that’s that’s that. Have you ever done collective creation in this way before?

Beatrice Pizano
No, no, I have had it through the company. Because when I’m working, you know, if I’m just doing my own show at aluna, I can do whatever. You know, it’s so like the last show one woman show I did like, Trevor and I, I mean, we ran the company. So if we wanted to go into a room and work two hours, you know, and he’s the designer director, and that was the actor. Yeah. Oh, God. Did I have a hard time learning those lines? If you ask me to give you a line from that show right now I can’t. I don’t remember Go like so. So for me was a dream come true? also like how do you work like I, I have seen my mentors and I admire them but it’s also the collective this kind of work also requires imagery becomes very important. And how do you can can you say the things through images that has been and I thought we work with a lot of imagery, but I go, that’s to be very good idea is very difficult. And the other thing that I discovered First, we work on the goal like with all these gadgets Friday, even I started I go, I feel so guilty with our props, props Master, because every day I eliminate another thing. I’m going back to the simplicity of theatre and the magic of theatre. Yeah, I mean, here I have Trevor that Trevor can create anything I want with video. He’s a magician added, but we go Do we really need to bring that I feel that video we have worked on with video for a long, long time. Now, we and we have used it in very beautiful ways. But I think VR is also becoming in a way kitchen sink. Because we’re trying to say everything we think that the image and we live in such a visual world that we’re getting used to that, but I go we’re making it now something that is you know, like we have to see the image and, and theatre is about that beautiful Naked Truth. Yeah, you know, it can be right there. The other thing is, I always say I’m careful now, how I speak about theatre because theatre is many things and there are many different kinds of things. So when we say this, no, there are many different approaches many different kinds of theatre many different reasons why you do theatre, for me has always been you know, we are in a very lucky situation that we don’t have to respond to an audience in that sense that we are not a thief. Get through there has to present seven plays a year and has to respond, you know, to what those audiences want. And so we take big risks, which is, you know, of course, I cry a lot. I go, Wow. You know, but then, you know, when I get out of the crime I go, I’m so glad I took that risk, but it makes it challenging, right? Because Yeah, you don’t have that other security blanket, but you also have the opportunity to do something and try it. And I just, you know, like, what I have learned over the last 20 years of running this company is this, I love this so much.

But I also know how difficult it is that I wake up every day in panic. You know, it’s like, the panic for the actor is different than the panic for the director and the different for the playwright when, when you play those different roles. You go, oh my god, I had forgotten about the polygon on this side, right. And when you are Kind of playwright director as I am here although I’m not the playwright because the texts are created all the texts that I use are the texts written by these women I did drama Tour de I did some editing and that but um, but is is is is is difficult and I’m not saying many other things are difficult but what I’m saying what I’m trying to say is it’s also why I love it so much and for me sir is a way of life is no longer is not a business because we don’t make any money. But, you know what I love is just that if those women get out something in their lives of doing this project, then theatre has done something magic. Yes. Because those women are going to open the door for all their beings. You know, and that’s, that’s what I think sometimes we think that we have to make these big act, but the little things that you know, one person opens the door for the next one. coming behind, or for the one that was left, somewhere along the road, right? So I just want them to have the opportunity to be, you know, valued as artists. Yeah, that’s very important to me because of these women, they’re younger, some young women in the cast, but there’s a lot of us who have managed to stick with this no matter what, yeah. And whatever we need to do to keep making a living and keep being able to dream and create. And so I want to honour that a lot about all of us. We don’t have to be women, but all these creators that you know, that that we keep believing and and and making it happen so he says might i think i think he’s gonna be a beautiful show. Of course Today’s the day I’m still terrified. I’m gonna you know, until it opens you know, I’m when it opens. I’m gonna die even more. Yes, yes, but I know. There’s one thing when when I when I came onto the scene, I hadn’t ever written or directed in my life, and I ended up directing and writing the show in which I acted as well. Never again. But, but there was something so beautiful. Nobody knew us. I remember one day we had two people in the audience. And from that day on the rule for us, we go on stage No matter if there’s one person for me, it’s not about the number of people in the cast. Because is, it doesn’t matter what anybody says. If you believe in it, in the in the piece that you have put together, yeah, then you’re invincible. Mm hmm. The rest doesn’t matter. Right. So it is when I gathered that believe I got Yes, we have something you know, like that we can fight for and stand for Yeah,

Phil Rickaby
yeah. When did you first start being interested in theatre to remember what that first spark was?

Beatrice Pizano
Columbia because in high school, I went to an American school. And so the Americans came with this thing of like, doing theatre right? Like I you know, we didn’t it was a way like I remember history professor that he taught us history by the same do scenes and all of that and I you know, I stopped being a star like I really does where I hated school, you know, but that’s where and so they said they call my parents and they say, you know, they she seems to really enjoy that their religion class because we had to take religion but I had a very advanced, really just religion teacher who was a philosopher he introduced me to Erich Fromm escape from freedom. I love that book. So he was a young man with a different you know, I was, but the government in Colombia at the time I don’t even has changed. You had to take religion. I asked my father to take me out of religion and we went to the school and they said, Sorry, you cannot graduate soon. So I made the compromise, but in We start creating scenes about social problems or theme scenes and then you realise Oh my God, this trauma in this person and you know, like, you know, improvisations. Yeah. So I said like, and I really, really wanted to, so I pray, like I cried to my dad, like I want to be in theatre. So he started finding that was something that certain kind of at that time in Colombia is ridiculous, but decent girls didn’t go, you know, that was my dad was very, he was a very amazing thinker. And so he because he, he used to write for a newspaper, and that’s what he I knew a lot of people so he started inquiring, and at the time, it just decided that I got into dancer start pursuing that and, and then I came to Canada, and so I wanted to be a dancer and then life had other other plans for me. I had to have a surgery that just prevented me From from continuing that way and so I get back into Stein to study acting and data and I it just became my love and and there’s a it’s funny because you know the other there’s always thinking whether the best bit I mean they my parents would take me to shows and dance and then Columbia but I remember Vancouver I had arrived and so I didn’t hardly you know I could understand English and go to university take notes but I was very shy about speaking and and I saw Death of a Salesman and it was a very good production I think it was an American production something and I went it just like I was a beautiful performance. I can’t remember anything else but of going home and I was like, you know, I saw so much and I and you know, it’s not the type of place I do now. But the impact of the live and what I saw that beauty Beautiful humaneness been revealed on stage I was very taken and then I then I of course I fell into mostly film on TV. I was living in Vancouver, and I was a Latino so I take it in a lot of roles, you know, I was killed in every episode, you know, whatever. But I started learning and I love being in the said watching great actors work like all of that. And then I moved to Toronto and I remember like the first day I arrived in this town, there was this I can remember what it was at the theatre centre, the old theatre centre. Um, almost across from CAMH it wasn’t even the one

Phil Rickaby
they use I remember was a summer works venue. It was under the Legion.

Unknown Speaker
Yes, yeah. And I go there. And they had like these showcases, and I walk in into this thing. And Toronto. I just went online God, it was such a fun God work. It was like, these crazy people were doing just the most beautiful stuff. That’s when the Daniel MacIvor’s all everywhere, like they were just coming onto the scene and trying all these wild things. And I went, I want that. So I was desperate. But you know, so I said, try now for things and and people say, okay, we like you, but we don’t know. And I don’t want this to sound in a bad way. But I was told that by people I love and that would deal with a lot of care. We don’t know how to justify someone with an accent, how it fits the other characters that was that was then yeah, so I say Oh, bloody hell. I said well, it cannot be that difficult to write a play and direct and

Phil Rickaby
which is of course the thing that somebody who’s never done those things would say

Beatrice Pizano
and build a company. So I had this path. For the one of the warriors in Latin America, you know, the one of the great warriors a woman malita science who fought in the war against this Spaniards and she was just a magnificent being and says, I’m gonna do a one woman show about manolito and I apply to the cake as I’m just the lackeys been sometimes they still have money, that’s when they still Yeah, and there was this thing, career change or something for somebody who has never done anything, but is trying to, you know, going to try something. And I apply with a, I just want to write this thing. This is this woman and I the application wasn’t very complicated, and then I get $10,000. I was at a time where it was like, I almost had no money in that, but I knew then you don’t spend that money. You do the product. Yes. Yeah. And I’m very and so that really prompted me to start doing it and I started at the time I also started working With Sohail parsa from modern times, that changed my life completely. Because mostly my work was on TV and film. And, and he also introduced me so I was also a very method actor that was kind of my work has always been based on that American training. And, and then we start doing a collective creation. Again, the times would there was money, he had a year to do workshops. He was the daughters of Shahzad. The first workshop was like a month and a half richer, Ferran was the sound designer. So we had these beautiful people in the room. I have never been like, with with, you know, Steven Geraci had done this set and so you have the lighting designer, the sound designer in a workshop with you and I was gone. And so he’ll we still talk about the day that he finally broke me down. Not him, but that I that I finally broke out of this show because he was coming from the physical. I was going okay. And then I understood working with him that the physical can be as powerful emotionally of getting you into the emotion as as the method is. You don’t have to choose one or the other. But there are different ways of entering. And I remember this moment in Shahzad that, once you found it emotionally, every day, I hit that mark on the stage. I could go into the tears without thinking about anything because we had built all these physical vocabulary. He had no memorizer in it great choreographer, Mexican Canadian choreographer working with us. And so I was introduced to this world and division, so he’s so visual, everything is these visuals and and so that also changed how I saw things. And when I was going to direct I wasn’t going to direct the first plane. But I lost the director. Everything sorry. I went okay. how difficult the beauty of not knowing

Phil Rickaby
Yes, of course. Yeah.

Beatrice Pizano
Now you I wouldn’t do that. But the beauty of not knowing you’re fearless. Hmm, yeah. fearless and oh my god, I kid. We won’t mention names, but there’s somebody who had just come to the Globe and Mail the first time reviewer. And he hated the play. Not only it was a whole page, and I will never forget the last night. That said, I hope she has collected enough air miles to take a very long train trip and think very carefully about what you have done. Oh my goodness. And that comes sign on and I’m playing this character up on the second sphere centre there wasn’t over there. And the rails there were no rails up. So we were acting that one day like I’m acting this historical character. A cleaner opens the door behind me claiming in the middle of the straw. Does that imputable thing? Yeah, but you know, so here I am my first play and I was like, and I read that review and go. You gotta get back on that horse. Yeah. You’re the producer, you’re the director, you’re the writer. They have just destroy you. And that was for me. I remember Sohail said to me, when I say okay, I’m gonna do these sentences. Okay. The proof is, Will you do it whether you have money or not? Hmm, that is the proof of the artist. Yeah, he will do it no matter what. Yeah. Okay. And fortunately, I managed to get some funding because that also taught me something as a producer that I have kept to this day, is I have to make a huge effort to make money to find the money I never asked people to work for. I work for the money if I’m interested in something I don’t care. Yeah, it’s my passion. I don’t measure things that way. But it’s my responsibility. And in the beginning where we couldn’t get those prizes very if we had $1,000 $1,000 got split between everybody. Yeah, but that importance of USF for me, I always say the responsibility because we make so much people work for free, you know, on the festivals, I love them for for some things, but I know there’s a question because I’ve decided putting everything yeah. And then bigger. theatres are coming on now getting their shows after all this work has been done. So there you always have to be careful with that. Right. And so, I am very much about being the artist that’s like, yeah, and and, but that has been kind of the journey and here I am, like 18 years later with a company and I love it. He has, you know, I never knew that part of my journey was going also to create a community. I really started because I couldn’t get the work that I wanted. I wanted to be a diva, let’s be honest. I want a one woman show which ended up in a play with like, with 12 actors, no one woman show. Yeah. And but then it was it. You know,

we hardly anybody knew as we didn’t have that much people come to see this show. And suddenly we get nominated for 3 Dora’s. And we get two of them. And that changed completely in the way that is not because they gave us that but people, you know, suddenly they tyronn asked me to come in as an intern, you know, opportunities began where I could get the training that I needed. So in that sense, it helped a lot. And, and, and, and then I understood that there was a whole this huge gap in in the Latin x community that in that play, I don’t think when I did the first play on my friends were doing roles and they were not. We didn’t have Latin actors. It was like For people in town who are Latin and you cannot play every role just because you’re lacking, so it becomes and then by 2010 is such an influx of refugees from Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Colombia was going through one of the worst times of the Civil War. And so we get a lot of people and people come in as artists already in their 40s or just mature artists who had long careers. And that and they come but they cannot speak English. Hmm. So that prompted us to start subtitling everything in the two languages. The first play we do in 2010 that we do that was beautiful. And Trevor says, we were doing that about child soldiers. And I had done a lot of research of women child soldiers in Colombia because they were very specific. You know, it attracted me a lot. Then I took the actress who was doing their role to work with child soldiers. If you’re gonna do this role you got to really know about He’s, you know, like being the contact of his kids. And, and so there was a role that I couldn’t fulfil. And I knew this Cuban actress that I loved and she said, Hey, I cannot do it in English. I said, Well, you play a dead person, not a ghost. Because that it was this is the land of Mark is on my mind of my deep realism with the drama towards with Tell me. Ah, so that characters that ghost and I was going, No, she’s just dead. And did they walk through the room? See, you know, like Marcus says, you know, it’s like, you know, they walk, you know, they’re so tired of being alone in their solitude of death that they come back, right. And everybody knows they’re dead. Right? But but so we, I say, okay, you do this scene in Spanish and the other the young actress does it in English because you’re dead so I can really justify it. Yeah. And Josie will not do that with the title of the play completely in the two languages. And not just the titles, by the Part of the music and sound design. And so that began in 2010 begins the investigation of the company in this bilingual mind. And then we work with Diana Cho and do red snow in Chinese written Chinese, and all Chinese and we take it to China to festival in Shanghai. And so we start expanding going, the language doesn’t have to be an issue you know we can do and then the later years have been about how does the bilingual mind works and how and how we can utilise that not to deny that to anybody because you go to festivals around the world and everything is your title right? In international festivals. And I think we’re getting more and more read of that. There’s a beautiful story I had forgotten and I brought it to the room the other day, I was working with Liliana was in this piece. And she’s also from Columbia refugee great actress and she goes there I’m not gonna act in English is it? Don’t worry, we’ll do it. In Spanish with English subtitles, our first test audience we had been invited to try 30 minutes at this human rights conference with our first audience were 10 year olds in this tiny room that it wasn’t really faded For Subtitles, and that’s what we do. And then we said did you was Did you understand it? Did that bother you? Hmm. They understood the whole story. Yeah. They loved in the kids. I have heard Spanish at home but didn’t even speak it anymore. It was like, wow, they started feeling this pride. Right. And, and he was very, very interesting that the kids, I guess, because they’re in this world that they’re texting and all of that. That was in something that other than it was a language that visually they understood. And that was our first test with Hmm. So there are many beautiful story. Yeah. So that’s the solitude in many ways, though. For me, solitude. is a word that that it can be seen as a negative. But solitude is also a beautiful thing and very necessary. What? There was a CBC podcast the other day and this guy I was just caught inside didn’t catch his name, but he said, solitude is

loneliness is failed to solitude, something like that. Or please, I hope he’s not listening and then misquoted because there’s such and he was actually talking about how hard it is in our world now to embrace solitude. And solitude is a moment of reflection, and of being with yourself. And I guess what I was inspired about the book is the women in Macondo, those stubborn women The only thing is that they lived in a world of men and war where they didn’t have a voice. And I’m very careful about saying voiceless because I don’t believe in that. But they weren’t like he frames In this world where, you know, like, you know, they managed to survive because of their solitude. Yeah, they survived all of them. Because they had the capacity to isolate themselves, and to invent a life that would keep them until they were 120. In that solitude Hmm. And that’s how they it was their protection against this world that wouldn’t give them a space. And that was crazy, because, you know, it was a World War. And, and so that’s where I went like, this is a positive and a beautiful thing, right. So that’s, that’s where the inspiration for this has come from. Yeah.

Phil Rickaby
Thank you so much. Have a great conversation. Thank you.

Beatrice Pizano
Oh, thank you.