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Theater veteran stages a classic play for the new generation.

PHILIPPINE theater veteran Jamie Wilson is having a grand time directing his first play 'Arsenic and Old Lace' by Joseph Kesselring for Repertory Philippines, which he considers his second home for the past 30 years.

In an interview with the BusinessMirror at the Onstage theater in Makati City, Wilson said: 'I think this is such a good example of a good classical play and it's performed everywhere in the world in different levels-from high school, to college, [and up to the] professional theaters.'

He added, 'It is also an important professional teaching tool because is it a comedy, and written in a classical language.'

The Filipino thespian is elated that millennials are given the chance to watch and learn the language of that period that gave birth to the modern comedies. Wilson said the dialectal of the play is quite beautiful that it could be compared to doing a William Shakespeare production.

Since he cannot inject modern language to it, Wilson opted to update the design aspects to give it a modern twist.

'I can't put modern references when they throw words like Boris Karloff. How would the young people react?' Wilson queried.

For millennials' appreciation

WILSON believes that mounting Kesselring's play will be a great material to the millennials because they will learn this style of writing that gave way to modern comedy and writing.

'But if the actors said it truthfully, it would have a contextual boost. Then, there's the design aspect by making the house look more modern,' he further explained.

Since he is not acting, Wilson has highlighted the stage directions he wanted to emphasize because that's where creativity comes in. The actor-director pointed out: 'That is where the fun part comes into [fore].'

As a director, Wilson wants to be collaborative and gives the actors the freedom to provide suggestions to improve the play-a far cry from the days of Rep founder Zeneida Amador, when shouting was a normal thing during rehearsals.

Giving back to the craft

BEING a tyro in directing, Wilson feels the pressure in handling senior counterparts such as Joy Virata, Jay Valencia-Glorioso and Jeremy Domingo. The younger brother of former Rep stalwart Monique Wilson wants to put his best foot forward as he wants to give back what he had learned from his mentors at the 50-year-old theater company.

According to him, his attitude toward directing changed when he became an assistant to Bobby Garcia of Atlantis, where he worked as a technical director.

Virata, vice president for audience development, approached Wilson and asked if he was interested to try his hand at directing. As a member of the Rep Council, Wilson and his colleagues discuss and recommend the plays that the Rep could present in a certain season.

During their meetings, Wilson kept on suggesting to his colleagues to stage 'Arsenic and Old Lace.'

The theater vet yearns to get as much materials as he could to broaden his directorial skills. Further, he plans to do the classics, drama and, of course, Shakespeare.

'Definitely, it is a milestone for me because I never imagined that I would be directing,' Wilson explained.

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Apr 29, 2018
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