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The 60 Second Plug: The Shape of Things

  • September 7, 2006

By Juliet Jacobs

Shed some light on the play for us

Well, it’s about art and how far a person is willing to go for it. It also questions art and brings up interesting points about the negative and positive sides of it.

Why Neil Labute? Why ‘The Shape of Things’?

When we initially came up with the idea of doing our first play, we actually wanted to produce something completely original. But we were unable to due to time constraints, so our co-producer actually brought a bunch of scripts and we picked the best one out of the lot and Neil’s piece was the winning number.

Tell us little about the cast

Um, I wanted to introduce new faces into the theatre industry and therefore two out of four of the cast members are newcomers. The other two however, have dipped their pinky-toes into the world of theatre before.

What’s the story behind the name of your theatre company?

I had nothing to do with the naming! I only found out today that General of Dado was supposed to mean that we were an army of theatre people who dared to be different. Dado means different and decorated.

The theme of manipulation is strong in this one. Is becoming a theatre director your first step towards world domination?

You should be warned that the Force is strong in me. I find your lack of faith in me disturbing. Anyway, I have a theory that art is actually life and life is art. Like art we don’t really live our lives, we respond to what life throws at us. So maybe I can brainwash the world into seeing things my way.

How has this first pregnancy and birth been for you?

Painful, like a natural birth without the epidural. But there will be more kids to come. Hopefully, this time it will be a Caesarean.

What was a typical day on set like?

I go to rehearsals, I sit down, I tell the actors to warm-up, I call for meetings with the crew, I get a migraine, I start searching for my PANIC button, I cannot find it, actors finish their warm-up, I start rehearsals while having a migraine, my nails gets shorter and shorter, I lose my hair, rehearsals end, feedback given, extra chunks of hair fall out, adjourn to nearest food joint to relax and unwind. Lather, rinse, repeat, six hours a day, six days a week… yeah!

This being your first production, have you developed a healthy hatred towards everyone in the arts in Malaysia yet?

Well, not everyone, most of them, but not everyone.

Your advice to all upcoming theatre directors out there…

Invest in anti-depressants and be ready to be a dictator. It doesn’t pay to be a nice director.

What’s next for you?

Sleep, I need a vacation. But no, after my diploma I’m going to live up to the company dream of producing and directing something original.

First Published: 07.09.2006 on Kakiseni