Watch our “Chorus of Disapproval”
Federico García Lorca wrote about “a wall of wailing women” in The House Of Bernarda Alba: a personification of the stifling community and oppressive society in which Bernarda and her daughters live. We’re thrilled to have 28 wonderful women in our ensemble for the show, and here, we speak to two of them to find out more about their experiences backstage.
What inspired you to audition for our show?
There was an audition notice that went around to the arts community e-group. I was part of the inaugural first batch of young & W!LD!, so I’ve always kept an eye on what W!LD RICE is doing. When this opportunity came up, I thought, “Yeah! Let’s audition and see what happens!” It’s nice to be back, so to speak.
Tell us about your experience in the rehearsal room.
With the chorus, especially an ensemble, it’s really about building a camaraderie, building this connection with one another and being able to do things in unison. We have to more or less breathe like a unit and work as a unit – we have to step in time with one another. So the one thing we’ve been focusing on is building this ensemble feel. Oh, and learning the songs and everything that goes into the show itself!
What are you looking forward to when you head into the theatre?
Oh, the set! And the lights! Right now, we’re starting to see it all come together, with the spacing in the rehearsal room and the main cast coming in to work with us. But, when we move into the theatre, that’s when it’s going to be really exciting: the feeling is going to be different, the energy is going to be different… once the lights and the music and the sound all come into place, it’s going to be even more magical. It’s theatre lah: that ephemeral coming-together of everything to create an experience for the audience!
What has the rehearsal process been like?
It’s always lovely to be in an ensemble, because you always meet new people, and you’re doing new things. I wasn’t aware that we would be singing when I went for the audition, so that’s already a challenge for me – to come out of my comfort zone and to be singing. When we first saw the Latin score, we were, like, ‘Oh my goodness!’. Marcia Vanderstraaten, our assistant director, is directing the rehearsals and she taught us very swiftly and very efficiently – she was very good!
What are you most looking forward to when you head into the theatre?
I wish there was an opportunity for me to be actually in the audience to watch it all! Because we don’t see the main cast – we hear them! Presently, our vision is not focused on the main cast. So we hear it, and we know all the actors are damn good. And I know that, looking at it aesthetically, it’s going to be beautiful and so powerful. But we hear it only in sound. I would love to, at some point, just sit back and watch it, to see the stagecraft that comes with it… It’s going to be amazing!