Words From Natalie
Theatre is magic. It is a place of alternate realities, where history comes alive and new worlds are created. Theatre has the power to comment on the World, while generating a dialogue for audiences and artists alike, inspiring change on both large and small scales. I believe in creating the “world” of plays onstage, presenting something that is visually stunning and audibly rich. My work is unique as it is a heightened yet honest and truthful exploration of humanity and society. My goal is to engage the audience with their physical senses as well as their intellect, to push them to ask difficult questions of themselves and of others.
Artistically, I am most drawn to the theatre genres of Magical Realism and Surrealism; I enjoy making these beautiful heightened realities accessible, understandable and relatable to the public. I am fascinated with the notion of time and the beautiful challenge of presenting memory, dreams and the spirit world onstage. I explore and present the time and space of the play through the ensemble’s movement, using tempo and repetition; Characters and relationships using spatial relationships, unison action, shape, and gesture. These movements are used in my work to discover what is beyond the page of a script, often seen in vignettes, my actors are constantly onstage living as their characters even when not involved in a spoken scene.
My creative process begins with solidifying the world of the play with sensory and visual research; setting a color palate, finding the piece’s dominate element (earth, air, water, fire), finding the sounds of the world- environmental soundscape and dominate instrumental sounds, as well as historical research in order to fully and honestly realize the new realities of the world we are working in. Theatre is an art form of collaboration, and as the director I must lead both the creative team and the ensemble to fully realize the aesthetic and vision of the piece. We work together to generating a piece of art that engages our audience visually, intellectually and emotionally to the story we are telling. I go on a journey with my ensemble and design team to create our world together. I believe we all must dance together on stage, the ensemble’s movement in the space with the architecture and lights – they must all move in one smooth sequence together.
I aim to create a powerful experience for the actors I work with, developing strong ensembles who care deeply about each other and our work. I generally train my ensemble of actors in movement work for a period of time before we start our rehearsal process which creates a shared language. During this time, I strive to create a safe and trusting rehearsal space that promotes creativity and risk taking. Through ensemble exercises the actors begin to feel connected to each other, to me and to the piece of theatre we are creating.
Throughout the course of my career I have developed a confident practice in collaboration, devising, physical theatre, and re-imagining existing text. I have found my theatrical freedom through the Viewpoints Technique and I use it in the creation of my ensembles and theatre productions.