We had a chance to sit with Diana (virtually) and talk to her about Ali and Ali: The Deportation Hearings, which she will be directing as the theatre’s reopening main stage show in April 2022. Here’s a quick look into her mind about this piece and why you should be excited about it.
What makes you excited about this play?
It’s just so well put together. I read a lot of plays, and some of them are just fun, some are really well put together, but it’s rare I find something that is so brilliant. Ali and Ali: The Deportation Hearings pokes fun at our society in ways that are very poignant, but also very familiar. It doesn’t just focus on any one particular issue, but goes out of its way to make sure everyone gets offended — nobody is left out, which also means everyone gets to be in on the joke. And that’s really the great part about it. It gives people like me, people of colour, a voice, a chance to tell their story. It invites the audience to listen and see the lives the characters have, but then to laugh alongside them regardless of background.
What kind of experience do you expect an actor to have while working on this piece?
I’m happy to take actors at all levels of experience, including none at all. What I really want is actors who are willing to step onto the stage, and step into a role that is humorous, but also covers some serious topics. I want actors who I can work with to really get into the material and work with the humour and topics together to create something really entertaining, but also really memorable.
How do the puppets fit in?
There are so many puppets! The puppets are great, and act as an extension of the piece and the actors to tell the story. There are things you can do with puppets that you just can’t do with people alone. They’re fun, they’re weird, and there’s just so many of them. I think everyone will really like the puppets.
What do you hope audience members will take away from this experience?
I hope audiences will take away a motivation to look at what they value. Not to negate what they value, but to encourage them to look at why they hold those values so dear. By allowing audience members to be in on the joke, and to laugh along with it, I hope they’ll really have a close look at our society and have a chance to really question what it is doing, and whether that is the way things should be.
Auditions for this show will be held January 25–27, 2022 and all actors for this show must identify as people of colour. See here for more information and to sign up. Or, if you’d like to get involved backstage in another way or have any other questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.