Celebrating color, life and artistic freedom

From Leigh Silverman, director of The Road to Mecca

When thinking about how to bring The Road to Mecca to the stage the first thing to consider was the set. The set is like another character. I wanted to honor the real Owl House (which you can see on the internet) and at the same time translate it to the stage in an exciting way. Our set – the main rooms of Helen’s house - is a literal and metaphorical representation of her soul – the soul of a radical, brave, inspired totally wild artist – willing to live on the outskirts of societal norms and sacrifice everything for her vision.

An example of her unconventional ways: Helen would grind glass in a coffee grinder (by hand!) and then put it on her walls. She was all about color, enormous mosaics and a compulsive use of color, light and candles. The first time Rachel, the set designer, showed me a sample of the glitter walls that we were going to use I was delighted, and I am so happy to work on a play that celebrates creativity, color, life and artistic freedom.


Anonymous said...

We attended "The Road to Mecca" last Thursday (1/15/09). There were a couple of rough spots with mussed lines but the actors, especially the older woman, were phenomenol. I've been a fan of Fugard for many years and thought the director's vision and cast performances did this wonderful author's words proud. The set was amazing as well.
The only negative crititicism I have is that the actors couldn't seem to decide what accent to use. I realize the younger woman was supposedly Australian. Unfortunately, this was apparent only intermittently. The older woman's accent was at least consistent. The man's was all over the place! Still in all, a wonderful performance which I would heartily recommend seeing.

Richard Smaby said...

From a dialogue that at first seems quite ordinary emerges a debate about freedom at a very personal level, yielding a message for all ages and all places. The acting was superb. I was completely drawn in to the debate, alternately hoping and fearing for the outcome. It is one of the best plays I have seen in a long time.