Transcript: Show 24 - Philip Silver | Apr 02, 2000

(Rhythmic string and wind music plays)

In animation, a word in pink slides by against a gray background as hands paint strokes using paintbrushes, play a piano, and touch as in a ballet performance.

The title of the show reads “Dialogue. With Philip Silver, Dean and Stage Designer.”

Then, Richard Ouzounian appears facing the screen. He's in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short side-parted blond hair. He's wearing rounded glasses, a gray suit, gray shirt, and spotted gray tie.

He says WELCOME TO DIALOGUE.
I'M RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
YOU'RE ABOUT TO MEET A MAN WHO
HAS HAD DESIGNS ON THE THEATRE
FOR ALL OF HIS LIFE, AND NOT
ONLY HAS HE DONE IT, HE'S NOW
SHOWING PEOPLE HOW TO DO IT
BECAUSE HE'S THE DEAN OF
FINE ARTS AT YORK UNIVERSITY.
THIS
DIALOGUE
IS
WITH PHILLIP SILVER.

Phillip is in his mid-fifties, balding and with a trimmed full beard. He’s wearing rounded glasses, a gray tweed suit, gray shirt, and spotted black tie.

Richard continues PHILLIP, WELCOME.

Phillip says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Richard says I ALWAYS BELIEVE WE HAVE
TO GET TOTAL DISCLOSURE
OUT OF THE WAY.
WE WERE JUST SAYING BEFORE THE
CAMERAS ROLLED THAT WE HAVE
KNOWN EACH OTHER NOW FOR,
I THINK IT IS 27 YEARS?

Phillip says SOMETHING LIKE
THAT, YES, INDEED.

Richard says WE FIRST ENCOUNTERED EACH
OTHER, AND I GUESS IT'S A
GREAT PLACE TO START, IN THE
CITADEL THEATRE IN EDMONTON,
NOT WHEN IT WAS --

Phillip says THE OLD CITADEL.

Richard says THE OLD CITADEL THEATRE.
NOW PEOPLE WHO MAY KNOW
EDMONTON OR SEEN PICTURES KNOW
THAT THEY NOW HAVE THIS
BIG LUXURIOUS THEATRE.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO DESCRIBE
WHAT THE CITADEL THEATRE
IN EDMONTON WAS
LIKE 27 YEARS AGO?

Phillip says WELL, THE NAME COMES FROM
THE CITADEL, SALVATION ARMY.

Richard says AS IN SALVATION ARMY?

A caption appears on screen. It reads “Philip Silver, Dean and Stage Designer.”

Phillip says YES, THAT'S RIGHT, AND IT WAS
A SMALL THEATRE OF ABOUT
280 SEATS, I BELIEVE.
IT WAS LIKE A SHOE BOX,
LONG, LONG AUDITORIUM.
I GUESS THE CLOSEST THING
TODAY WOULD BE ONE OF THE
OLDER VERSION OF CINEPLEX
VISIONS, LONG STRAIGHT ROOM.
A VERY SMALL STAGE.
I THINK IT WAS MAYBE 40'
ACROSS, WALL TO WALL,
WITH NO BACKSTAGE SPACE.
BEHIND THAT THERE WAS A SCENE
SHOP THAT HAD BEEN PUT IN
WHEN THEY FIRST BUILT THE
BUILDING OR RENOVATED IT
TO BECOME THE CITADEL.
DOWN THE BASEMENT THERE WERE
DRESSING ROOMS, BUT NEVER
ENOUGH DRESSING ROOMS WHEN
WE DID A BIG CAST SHOW.

Richard says AND A RESTAURANT.

Phillip says AND A RESTAURANT WHICH
OCCASIONALLY SET ITSELF
ON FIRE, BUT THAT'S
ANOTHER STORY.
AND IT WAS IN THAT PLACE THAT
I HAD THE JOY OF WORKING WITH
A WONDERFUL GROUP OF PEOPLE.
THE FIRST ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
THAT I WORKED WITH WAS A
GENTLEMAN BY THE NAME OF
ROBERT GLENN, WHO WAS FROM THE
STATES, WHO HAD ESTABLISHED
THE THEATRE A COUPLE OF YEARS
BEFORE, AND THEN SEAN MULCAHY
WHO MANY TORONTONIANS WILL
KNOW, IN FACT, PEOPLE FROM THE
ACROSS THE COUNTRY WILL KNOW
SEAN THROUGH HIS VARIOUS FILM,
TELEVISION, AND ARTISTIC
DIRECTOR ROLES.
SEAN WAS THERE FOR A PERIOD OF
TIME, AND THEN JOHN NEVILLE
JOINED US.

Richard says WHICH IS WHEN I MET UP WITH YOU.

Phillip says WELL, ACTUALLY YOU MET WITH
ME JUST BEFORE JOHN CAME ON
BOARD BECAUSE WE HAD A HOLE
IN OUR SEASON IN WHAT WAS
SEAN'S LAST SEASON.
THERE WAS A HOLE THAT ALL OF A
SUDDEN APPEARED AND WE HAD TO
FILL IT, AND SOMEBODY SAID
THERE'S THIS INTERESTING
PRODUCTION CALLED JACQUES
BREL WHICH IS HAPPENING
OUT IN VANCOUVER.
MAYBE WE SHOULD DO SOMETHING
LIKE THAT HERE, AND THAT WAS
THE POINT AT WHICH YOU
AND I FIRST ENCOUNTERED.

Richard says THAT'S IT, 'CAUSE I HAD
JUST DONE IT OUT THERE
AND BROUGHT IT IN.

Phillip says THAT'S RIGHT.
THAT'S RIGHT.

Richard says LOOKING BACK AT THIS TINY,
TINY LITTLE SPACE, AS YOU
SAID, IF OUR AUDIENCE THINKS
THE SIZE OF A CINEPLEX,
A BABY CINEPLEX, YOU'RE
RIGHT, BUT YET HUGE MUSICALS
WERE DONE THERE.

Phillip says YUP.

Richard says SHAKESPEARE PLAYS
WERE DONE THERE.
WE DID ONE DOUBLE BILL OF
OEDIPUS REX
AND
SCAPIN
IN
ONE NIGHT BACK AND FORTH.
THIS WAS PRACTICALLY THE FIRST
PLACE YOU WERE PLYING YOUR
TRADE ONCE YOU'RE OUT
OF SCHOOL, ISN'T IT?

Phillip says I HAD COME OUT OF
NATIONAL THEATRE SCHOOL
A COUPLE OF YEARS BEFORE.
I HAD GONE TO THE STATES AND
DONE TWO YEARS THERE AND
DECIDED THE SUMMERS WERE
INDEED TOO LONG AND TOO HOT,
BECAUSE THIS WAS THE MID-'60s
WHEN I WAS LIVING IN THE
STATES, AND GOT AN OFFER FROM
JOE SHOCTOR WHO WAS THE CHAIR
OF THE BOARD AND PRODUCER OF
CITADEL, WOULD I CARE TO
COME BACK TO MY HOME TOWN,
'CAUSE THAT'S WHERE I'M FROM.

Richard says RIGHT.

Phillip says AND WORK AT THE CITADEL
AS RESIDENT DESIGNER.
SO IT WAS KIND OF THE FIRST
LONG-TERM JOB IN WHICH I WAS,
FOR THE FIRST WHILE, THE ONLY
DESIGNER OF SET, AND COSTUME,
AND LIGHTING FOR SEVEN
PRODUCTIONS A YEAR.
SO IT WAS REALLY THE KIND OF
SITUATION WHERE YOU COULD
CUT YOUR TEETH ON A
PILE OF CHALLENGES.

Richard says WAS IT KIND OF LIKE PUTTING
THE LORD'S PRAYER ON THE HEAD
OF A PIN SOMETIMES?

Phillip says IT WAS A LITTLE BIT LIKE
THAT, BUT YOU KNOW, THERE'S
SOMETHING ABOUT LIMITATIONS
THAT ARE HELPFUL, AND I KNOW
THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I
FIND WITH MANY STUDENTS WHO
ARE IN OUR PROGRAM AT YORK
IS THAT EVERYONE WANTS TO,
BECAUSE WHAT THEY SEE IN
FRONT OF THEM, WORK BIG.
WE'VE SEEN
PHANTOM.
WE'VE SEEN
RAGTIME.
WE'VE SEEN ALL THESE BIG
SHOWS, LET'S GO BIG.
AND THE RESULT OF THAT IN
BEGINNER'S WORK, VERY OFTEN,
IS YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO EDIT.

Richard says MM-HMM.

Phillip says AND ONE OF MY TEACHERS AT
NATIONAL YEARS AGO SAID, YOU
CAN DESIGN MORE WITH AN ERASER
THAN YOU CAN WITH A PENCIL.
AND SO, WHEN YOU HAVE THE KIND
OF LIMITATIONS THAT CITADEL
GAVE US AT THAT TIME, YOU
REALLY HAD TO MAKE HARD
DECISIONS AND CONCENTRATE ON
WHAT WAS TRULY IMPORTANT TO
TELLING THE STORY VISUALLY
AND, INDEED, SCENICALLY.
WE HAD TO BE VERY, VERY
CAREFUL WITH THAT.
THE OTHER THING THAT WAS A
CHALLENGE TO ME THEN, AND I
WAS QUITE CONSCIOUS OF IT AND
I'M HAPPY TO SAY I'VE BEEN
ABLE TO FORGET ABOUT IT, WAS
BECAUSE I WAS THE ONLY
DESIGNER FOR THE FIRST FEW
YEARS AT THIS, WHICH WAS
EDMONTON'S ESTABLISHMENT
THEATRE, I SUPPOSE,
THE
BIG THEATRE IN TOWN.
AT 280 SEATS, THE BIG THEATRE...
BECAUSE I WAS THE ONLY
DESIGNER, I WANTED TO MAKE
SURE THAT IT WASN'T MONOTONOUS,
THAT THE AUDIENCE WAS SEEING
WHAT I WAS DOING TIME AFTER
TIME AFTER TIME.
SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
I HAVE TENDED TO DO AS A
CONSEQUENCE IS REALLY POUR
MYSELF INTO THE TEXT AND INTO
THE SCRIPT, TRYING TO FIND
HOOKS WHEREBY I CAN SERVE THEM
RATHER THAN COME IN AND SAY, I
HAVE A STYLE AND I WILL FORCE
EVERYTHING INTO
MY
STYLE.
THE ASSUMPTION I HAVE AS
A DESIGNER IS MY STYLE,
I CAN'T STOP IT
FROM COMING OUT.
THE CHOICES I MAKE ARE GOING
TO BE MY STYLE, BUT IF I GO AT
IT TOO CONSCIENTIOUSLY THEN THE
PLAY'S NOT GOING TO COME OUT.

Richard says I WAS GOING TO SAY, FOR
PEOPLE WHO AREN'T NECESSARILY
ACQUAINTED WITH ALL THE INS
AND OUTS IN THEATRES, AS THE
DESIGNER, LET'S SAY, IN
THOSE DAYS YOU USED TO DO
EVERYTHING: SETS, COSTUMES,
AND LIGHTING, PEOPLE ARE GOING
TO WONDER WHAT THE
SHOW LOOKS LIKE.
IT'S NOT LIKE
PHANTOM
LOOKS THE
SAME IN EVERY CITY YOU GO TO.
BUT LET'S SAY THEY'RE GOING TO
DO A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM,
WHICH IS A GOOD PLAY.
EVERYBODY'S SEEN IT, SCHOOLS
AND COLLEGES AND AT STRATFORD,
AND THEY HIRE YOU AS THE
DESIGNER OF A MIDSUMMER
NIGHT'S DREAM.
WHAT'S YOU FIRST
PART OF THE JOB?

Phillip says IT'S TO DECIDE WHETHER
OR NOT I WANT TO TAKE IT.
[laughing]
BECAUSE ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT IS WHEN
YOU'RE WORKING ON A
PRODUCTION, YOU'RE WORKING AS
PART OF A TEAM.

Richard says RIGHT.

Phillip says YOU'RE WORKING WITH A
DIRECTOR WHO HOPEFULLY YOU GET
ALONG WITH, WHO YOU SEE EYE TO
EYE ON, OR A DIRECTOR WHOM, IF
YOU HAVEN'T WORKED WITH HIM
YET, YOU'RE EXCITED BY WHAT
YOU'VE SEEN OF THEIR WORK AND
YOU KNOW IT'S A CHALLENGE AND
RISK THAT YOU WISH TO TAKE.
SOMETIMES IT DOESN'T WORK OUT.
SOMETIMES YOU DO END UP IN
PARTNERSHIPS THAT AREN'T AS
PRODUCTIVE AS THEY SHOULD BE,
AND YOU CHALK IT UP TO PROFIT
AND LOSS AND SAY, OKAY, I'LL
STAY FRIENDS WITH THIS PERSON.
IT'LL BE ALL WONDERFUL, BUT
WE'RE JUST NOT A GOOD MIX.
WE DON'T BRING OUT THE
BEST IN EACH OTHER.
SO THE FIRST THING YOU DO IS
DETERMINE WHETHER YOU WISH
TO WORK WITH THE TEAM.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK
IS IMPORTANT IS THAT YOU HAVE
TO LIKE THE WORK.
WORKING ON A PLAY, IN WHATEVER
ROLE, IS VERY MUCH LIKE
A LOVE AFFAIR.
YOU'RE GOING TO BE WITH THIS
THING FOR SOME TIME, AND IF
IT'S SOMETHING THAT YOU AREN'T
HAPPY WITH OR YOU HAVE QUALMS
ABOUT, THEN YOU'RE NOT GOING
TO BRING YOUR BEST TO IT.
IT'S ONLY HAPPENED ONCE IN MY
LIFE THAT I WAS ASKED TO DO A
PLAY ON A SUBJECT MATTER THAT
I JUST FELT WAS NOT RIGHT FOR
THE TIME, AND THIS WAS --
ACTUALLY IT WAS SEVERAL YEARS
AGO WHEN THE WORLD WAS JUST
BECOMING AWARE OF AIDS AND HIV.

Richard says RIGHT.

Phillip says AND THE HORRORS THAT HAVE
FOLLOWED, PARTICULARLY
IN THE ARTS COMMUNITY.
AND SOMEONE ASKED ME TO DO A
PLAY THAT TOOK A VERY FLIPPANT
LOOK AT PROMISCUITY, AND
IN FACT MADE A VIRTUE
OF PROMISCUITY.
AND I JUST FELT AT THIS TIME
IN MY LIFE WITH WHAT I SEE IN
MY FRIENDS AROUND ME, I CAN'T.
I CAN'T LAUGH AT THIS ISSUE.
I DON'T THINK I COULD
LAUGH AT THIS ISSUE NOW.

Richard says NO.
YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT WHAT KEEPS
YOU AWAY FROM A PLAY, YOU
MENTIONED IT'S LIKE A LOVE
AFFAIR AND JUST LIKE YOU SPOT
THAT PERSON AND SAY, I LOVE
THEIR SMILE, I LOVE THEIR
EYES, I LOVE THIS AND THAT, IS
THERE A MOMENT USUALLY IN A
PLAY THAT ENGAGES YOU, OR
A CHARACTER, OR A SCENE
OR SOMETHING?

Phillip says WELL, I THINK I STARTED, AS
WE ALL DID, THOSE OF US WHO
HAVE GONE INTO THEATRE.
I STARTED AS AN AUDIENCE
MEMBER, AND I GUESS THE
FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION IS, AM I
GETTING SOMETHING OFF OF THE
SCRIPT THAT I WOULD LIKE TO BE
IN THE AUDIENCE WATCHING WHEN
IT FINALLY HAPPENS.
IS THERE SOMETHING EXCITING
ABOUT THIS, WHETHER IT'S A
THRILL OF MYSTERY, WHETHER IT
IS AN EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER
RIDE THAT WE WANT TO TAKE THE
AUDIENCE ON, WHETHER IT'S
COMEDY OR TRAGEDY, SO I GUESS
THE ULTIMATE QUESTION IS,
WOULD I COME TO SEE THIS PLAY.

Richard says RIGHT.

Phillip says CAN I CONTRIBUTE TO THE JOY
OF THE AUDIENCE THAT DO COME
TO SEE IT?
THEN TO GO THROUGH
THE DESIGN PROCESS.
THE NEXT THING I WOULD DO IS
PROBABLY SIT DOWN WITH THE
PLAY AND READ IT
A COUPLE OF TIMES.
FIRST READ IT FOR
THE FUN OF IT.
READ IT TO SEE IF
THAT QUALITY IS IN IT.
AND TO GET AN UNDERSTANDING
OF WHAT THE STORY IS, BECAUSE
VERY OFTEN PLAYWRIGHTS, AND
YOU INCLUDED, WILL WRITE
CERTAIN WORDS, BUT UNDERNEATH
THOSE WORDS, THERE'S A STORY
THAT YOU MAY IMPLY BUT NOT
NECESSARILY VERBALIZE.

Richard says RIGHT.

Phillip says SO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND
WHAT'S INSIDE THERE AND HOW
ALL THE PIECES FIT TOGETHER.
SO I'LL READ THE PLAY FROM
THAT KIND OF CREATIVE POINT OF
VIEW, FIRST OF ALL, AND THEN I
WILL GO BACK AS A RESEARCHER,
TEAR THE PLAY APART
BIT BY BIT BY BIT.
I MAKE CHARTS THAT SAY, OKAY,
IN THIS SCENE WE NEED A TABLE
OR WE NEED A GLASS.
WE NEED WATER.
WE NEED A COUPLE OF CHAIRS.
WE NEED SOMETHING TO GIVE A
FEELING OF A TELEVISION STUDIO.
WE HAVE SOME LIGHTS HANGING,
ETC. AND MAKE A LIST OF
EVERYTHING THAT IS EITHER
IMPLIED BY THE DIALOGUE,
OR EVERYTHING THAT THE
AUTHOR HAS PUT IN.
AND WHEN WE'RE WORKING ON NEW
PLAYS, OF COURSE, WE DON'T
HAVE THE BENEFIT OF ALL THOSE
NICE LITTLE THINGS IN ITALICS
AND BRACKETS THAT ARE IN THE
PUBLISHED SCRIPTS, SO A LOT OF
IT IS BEING INVESTIGATIVE
REPORTING KIND OF THING.
YOU THEN ALSO WILL
DO A LOT OF RESEARCH.
IF THE PLAY TAKES PLACE IN A
HISTORICAL PERIOD, WHAT DID
THAT PERIOD LOOK LIKE, BUT
MORE FUNDAMENTALLY, WHAT WAS
THE WORLD OF THE PLAY AT THAT
TIME, AND WHY DID THOSE PEOPLE
DRESS THAT WAY.
I MEAN, WE HAVE IN THIS NEW
MILLENNIUM WE'RE IN, OR ABOUT
TO ENTER, DEPENDING ON HOW YOU
COUNT IT, WAYS OF DRESSING.
WE HAVE WAYS OF SITTING THAT
CORRESPOND TO THE WAYS
OF DRESSING.
WE HAVE GENDER RELATIONSHIPS
IN TERMS OF MANNERISMS,
ETC. ALL OF WHICH AFFECT
THE LOOK OF OUR WORLD.
SO IF I'M GOING TO DO A PLAY
THAT HAPPENS IN ANOTHER
PERIOD, THEN I THINK I'VE GOT
TO FIND OUT, NOT ONLY WHAT
THAT PERIOD LOOKED
LIKE, BUT WHY.
WHAT WAS THE RELIGIOUS
BACKGROUND, THE POLITICAL
BACKGROUND?
AS I'VE SAID TO MY STUDENTS,
YES, WE DO LOOK FOR
SHAKESPEARE AND WE GO TO THE
FOOTNOTES TO FIND OUT WHO ALL
THESE PEOPLE WERE.
WE DON'T DO THAT
WITH DAVID MAMET.

Richard says RIGHT.

Phillip says YET.
BUT IN A HUNDRED YEARS,
IF YOU WANT TO READ
A DAVID MAMET PLAY, YOU BETTER
FIND A COPY THAT FOOTNOTES
THE QUIRKS OF THE
REAL ESTATE BUSINESS.
WHAT IS THE WORLD LIKE
WHEN PEOPLE AREN'T SELLING
ON THE INTERNET?

Richard says RIGHT.

Phillip says BEFORE THE INTERNET,
REMEMBER BACK IN THOSE DAYS?
[laughing]
YOU KNOW, SO PLAYWRIGHTS WRITE
FOR THEIR AUDIENCE, AND WHEN
WE GET FURTHER AWAY FROM A
PERIOD, WE HAVE TO, AS THOSE
WHO ARE WORKING ON THE PLAY,
GET BACK TO UNDERSTANDING WHAT
THE PLAYWRIGHT MEANT.

Richard says IS IT HARDER FOR YOU TO
DESIGN SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED
5 YEARS AGO OR 500 YEARS AGO?

Phillip says I DON'T THINK THAT'S A QUESTION
THAT I EVER THINK ABOUT.
I THINK IT IS HARDEST FOR ME
TO DESIGN A WORK WHERE I'M NOT
FULLY UNDERSTANDING WHAT
THE PLAYWRIGHT IS AFTER.
SO IT HAS MORE TO DO WITH
THE QUALITY OF WHAT'S COMING
OFF THE PAGE.
THE THING ABOUT THE WHOLE
EXPERIENCE IS I'M PART OF A
STORYTELLING TEAM AND I TAKE
CARE OF THE PICTURES FOR THE
STORYBOOK THAT WE'RE DOING.
I'VE NEVER REALLY THOUGHT
ABOUT IT FROM THAT KIND OF
POINT OF VIEW.

Richard says DO YOU LOOK FOR
AN IMAGE SOMETIMES?

Phillip says I TRY TO FIND IMAGES.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I WILL
OFTEN DO IS, I'LL SIT DOWN
WITH A SCRIPT AND I WILL READ
THE SCRIPT -- THIS MIGHT BE MY,
SAY, SIXTH OR SEVENTH READING.
I'LL READ THE SCRIPT AND JUST
START DRAWING, SKETCHING ALL
OVER THE PLACE, FOR NO
PARTICULAR REASON, ALMOST SORT
OF STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS,
RORSCHACH TEST, WHATEVER,
THIS KIND OF THING.
AND THEN LOOK BACK AT MY
SKETCHBOOK LATER TO SEE,
ARE THERE THINGS THAT
KEEP COMING OUT?
ARE THERE IMAGES
THAT KEEP COMING OUT?
ARE THERE METAPHORS?
THERE ARE TIMES WHEN YOU WILL
FIND SOMETHING THAT WILL MAKE
EVERYTHING ELSE JELL.
I WAS WORKING ON A PRODUCTION
OF
RIGOLETTO
YEARS AGO FOR AN
OPERA COMPANY AND HAD A LOT
OF IDEAS THAT WEREN'T QUITE
PULLING TOGETHER, AND I
HAPPENED TO BE ON A SUMMER
HOLIDAY AND HAPPENED TO BE
IN ITALY AND HAPPENED TO BE
OUTSIDE THE SFORZA CASTLE IN
MILAN, AND LOOKED UP AND FOUND
A VERY SMALL DETAIL AT THE TOP
OF ONE OF THE CRENELLATED WALLS.
AND WHATEVER IT WAS, BY THE
NEXT MORNING AT ABOUT 1 O'CLOCK,
THE WHOLE SHOW WAS DESIGNED,
AND IT WAS THAT KIND OF
STRANGE, IRRATIONAL MOMENT
THAT TRIGGERED EVERYTHING.
I LIKE WHEN I CAN PULL THINGS
TOGETHER IN THE WAY OF IMAGES
AND THEMATIC.
I DID A PRODUCTION OF HENRY
VIII AT STRATFORD A GREAT
MANY YEARS AGO.
NOT GREAT MANY,
WELL, 20 ALMOST.
AND WE HAD DETERMINED CERTAIN
THINGS WE NEEDED TO MAKE THAT
PLAY FLOW, AND THE MAIN
THING WAS A STAGE FLOOR OF
HERRINGBONE BRICK PATTERN,
SIMILAR TO WHAT THEY WOULD
HAVE IN TUDOR ENGLAND.
AND THEN I WANTED SOMETHING
THAT GAVE ME THE SENSE OF
WINDOWS, BUT ALSO PRISONS
AND BARS AND ALL OF THIS.
AND THE ITEM THAT WE CAME UP
WITH WAS SOME STEEL FRAMES
THAT LOOKED LIKE THE
FRAMES OF A LEADED WINDOW.
AND THESE FRAMES JUST
FLOATED IN SPACE.
THEY WENT UP AND DOWN
AND THERE WERE DIFFERENT
COMBINATIONS THAT YOU COULD
USE TO INDICATE WHERE YOU WERE.

Richard says RIGHT.

Phillip says THE MOMENT I KNEW THAT THAT
DESIGN WAS WORKING WAS WHEN
I WAS PLAYING AROUND WITH THE
MODEL AND GOT TO THE SCENE
WHICH IS THE DUKE OF
BUCKINGHAM GOING TO THE TOWER,
WHICH HAPPENS TRADITIONALLY
OUTSIDE THE WATER GATE
AT THE TOWER OF LONDON.
AND I'M JUST PLAYING AROUND
WITH THE MODEL AND ALL OF
A SUDDEN, I TAKE ONE OF THESE
GRILLS AND HOLD IT ABOUT EIGHT
FEET UP OFF THE FLOOR
AND REALIZE, AH, YES,
THAT'S THE PORTCULLIS
INTO THE WATER GATE.
AND THE MINUTE THAT HAPPENED,
I SAID, YEAH, THERE'S ENOUGH
BEGINNING TO CLICK HERE, THAT
ALL OF THE IDEAS ARE COMING.
THERE'S A THEME COMING OUT.
I COULD THEN SAY TO THE
DIRECTOR AT THAT TIME, OKAY,
ONE OF THE THINGS ABOUT HENRY
VIII IS THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE --
IT'S A POLITICAL PLAY AND
A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE SPYING
ON OTHERS.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE PUT SOME OF
THE CAST IN THIS SCENE DOWN
STAGE OF THE SCREENS, AND SOME
OF THE CAST UPSTAGE OF THE
SCREENS, AND THEREFORE WE CAN
GET THIS DEPTH OF PEOPLE IN
CORRIDORS, POLITICAL PLOTS.
CARDINAL WOLSEY, THOMAS
CROMWELL, ALL OF THESE OTHER
PEOPLE WHO ARE
PLAYING THESE GAMES.
AND AT THAT POINT, YOU BEGIN
TO SAY, YES, THERE'S ENOUGH
PULLING TOGETHER THAT WE HAVE
THE BEGINNINGS, HOPEFULLY,
OF A WORK OF SOMETHING
THAT MIGHT PASS FOR ART.

Richard says YOU MENTIONED SOMETHING
INTERESTING I WANT
TO PICK UP ON.
YOU TALKED ABOUT WORKING
WITH THE MODEL OF THE SET
AND YOU FIRST TOOK US
THROUGH YOUR DRAWINGS.
YOU SAID YOU SKETCH.

Phillip says YEAH.

Richard says AND THEN YOU DO SOME --
OBVIOUSLY, MAYBE SOME KIND
OF A RENDERING FOR
PEOPLE TO LOOK AT.
BUT THEN YOU ACTUALLY
HAVE TO -- AND I ALWAYS
STILL FIND THIS THE
MOST FASCINATING THING
IN THE THEATRES -- IS
YOU MAKE A LITTLE MODEL.

Phillip says YEAH.
WELL...

Richard says HOW BIG?

Phillip says IT VARIES.
IT DEPENDS ON WHETHER I'M
DOING THE DESIGN IN THE CITY
OR WHETHER THE PLAY'S
HAPPENING IN THE CITY THAT I'M
LIVING IN, OR WHETHER I HAVE TO
HOP ON AN AIRPLANE AND TAKE
THE MODEL SOMEWHERE, BECAUSE
WHEN I'M TAKING MODELS
ELSEWHERE, THEN YOU LIKE
TO GO FOR A SMALLER SCALE,
QUARTER OF AN INCH
EQUALS ONE FOOT.
THAT'S 1 TO 25 FOR
THOSE WHO ARE IN METRIC.
[laughing]
HALF INCH IS USUALLY A LITTLE
BIT BETTER, BECAUSE ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT I THINK IS REALLY
IMPORTANT, AND IT IS ONE AREA
IN WHICH I GET PASSIONATE
ABOUT, IS THAT STAGE DESIGN IS
NOT PICTURES.
STAGE DESIGN IS SPACE.
IT'S A SCULPTURE THROUGH WHICH
ACTORS MOVE, AND TO UNDERSTAND
THE SPACE, BOTH FROM MY POINT
OF VIEW, BUT ALSO FROM THE
POINT OF VIEW OF THAT DIRECTOR
THAT I'M WORKING WITH, WE WANT
TO LOOK AT SOMETHING THAT
ISN'T SCALE, THAT IS REALLY
THREE DIMENSIONAL, AND THAT WE
CAN PLAY WITH AND UNDERSTAND
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW
THE SPACE DIVIDES.
I HAVE A THEORY -- IT'S MORE
THAN A THEORY, IT'S PROVEN,
WHAT THE HECK -- THAT IF I
DON'T GET THAT SPACE RIGHT,
THE PLAY DOESN'T HAVE A HOPE.
AND A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THIS,
IN FACT, GOES BACK TO THAT
PRODUCTION OF OEDIPUS
AND SCAPIN THAT YOU JUST
MENTIONED, BECAUSE I CAME INTO
THE OLD CITADEL THEATRE ONE
MORNING, IN OUR TECH WEEK, AND
THE OEDIPUS WAS JOHN NEVILLE,
WHO AS YOU KNOW, IS NO SLOUCH
AS AN ACTOR AND WHO'S DONE
THIS KIND OF THING BEFORE, AND
I WATCHED JOHN FOR ABOUT AN
HOUR AND A HALF ON STAGE THAT
DAY, ALONE IN THE THEATRE,
AND I WAS UP IN THE
BOOTH AT THE BACK.
WATCHED HIM FOR ABOUT AN HOUR
AND HALF TRYING TO FIGURE OUT
WHERE HE NEEDED TO BE FOR
THE LAST SPEECH THAT HE HAS
BEFORE, AS OEDIPUS, HE TURNS
AND GOES THROUGH THE PALACE
DOORS TO POKE OUT
HIS EYES, RIGHT?

Richard says RIGHT.

Phillip says AND JOHN SPENT ALL OF THIS
TIME TRYING TO DECIDE, SHOULD
I BE HERE AND THEN SAY THE
SPEECH AND TURN AND GO IN,
OR SHOULD I BE HERE, FINISH
THE SPEECH, TURN AND GO IN.
HE PLAYED AROUND WITH THAT
IN THE WAY YOU WOULD SEE AN
ATHLETE FIGURING, SAY IT'S A
BROAD JUMPER, HOW FAR DO I
WANT TO BE BACK FROM THE PIT
IN ORDER TO MAKE THE JUMP.
AND A COUPLE OF EXPERIENCES
WITH PEOPLE LIKE JOHN AND SOME
OTHER PLAYS THAT I'VE BEEN
A PART OF, AND PLAYS THAT I
WITNESSED, HAVE REALLY LED TO
ME TO BELIEVE THAT IF WE DON'T
GET THE SPACE RIGHT FOR THE
AMOUNT OF WORDS THE PLAYWRIGHT
HAS WRITTEN, THE ACTOR --
ACTORS ARE WONDERFUL PEOPLE.
YES, THEY'LL MAKE IT WORK.
THEY WILL WALK A LITTLE BIT
FASTER, OR THEY'LL BE A LITTLE
BIT SLOWER, OR THEY'LL
STRETCH THE WORDS OUT.
BUT YOU WON'T HAVE THAT
HARMONY OF THE WORD AND THE
MOVE THAT SHOULD EXIST IF
WE DON'T HAVE THE SPACE
ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.
SO THE MODEL IS CRITICAL IN
UNDERSTANDING THAT, IN MY
UNDERSTANDING, BUT ALSO IN
THE DIRECTOR UNDERSTANDING THAT.

Richard says SO IT GIVES YOU A VISUAL
POINT TO GO OFF FROM AND
ELABORATE ON.

Phillip says YEAH.

Richard says THE NEXT LEVEL, WHERE YOU
HAVE TO MAKE THIS BECOME
REALITY, I GUESS IF THERE
WAS ONE DESIGN THAT A LOT OF
PEOPLE IN THE CANADIAN THEATRE
WOULD HARKEN BACK TO YOUR WORK
AND SAY, THAT'S THE ONE I
WOULD ZERO IN ON FOREVER, IT
WOULD BE THE ONE YOU DID FOR
VIRGINIA AT THE STRATFORD
FESTIVAL, AN EDNA O'BRIEN PLAY
ABOUT VIRGINIA WOOLF, DIRECTED
BY ROBIN PHILLIPS, STARING
MAGGIE SMITH, KIND OF A BLUE
CHIP TEAM THERE.

Phillip says YEAH.

Richard says AND YOU DID THE MOST
EXTRAORDINARY THING.
I MEAN, I'M THINKING BACK ON
IT AFTER ALL THESE YEARS AND
I GUESS ALL IT REALLY WAS
WAS A COUPLE OF MUSLIN
SCREENS AND SOME PROJECTIONS,
BUT IT SEEMED LIKE A WORLD.

Phillip says WELL, IT'S VERY CURIOUS.
THAT'S AN EXAMPLE OF HOW
PLAYS CHANGE IN DEVELOPMENT.
EDNA O'BRIEN'S SCRIPT FOLLOWS
VIRGINIA WOOLF FROM BIRTH TO
DEATH ESSENTIALLY.
IT TAKES A BIT OF WRITING
THAT VIRGINIA WOOLF HAD DONE,
TALKING ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE
OF HER, I SUPPOSE, RECOLLECTIONS
OF BEING BORN, AND THEN HER
EARLY LIFE, AND THEN IT ENDS UP
WITH, OF COURSE, HER
RETURNING TO WATER
AND SHE COMMITS SUICIDE.
AND WONDERFUL WORDS THAT EDNA
O'BRIEN HAD PUT TOGETHER, THE
WORDS OF VIRGINIA WOOLF AND
LEONARD WOOLF, AND A FEW
OTHERS, VITA SACKVILLE-WEST,
AND IT WAS A WONDERFUL SCRIPT,
EXCEPT THAT EDNA HAD SEEN IT
IN A VERY KIND OF FILMIC MODE.
WE WILL HAVE A SCENE HERE, AND
WE WILL HAVE A SCENE THERE,
AND I THINK THE FINAL COUNT IF
WE HAD FOLLOWED THE ORIGINAL
SET DESIGN IDEAS THAT WERE IN
THE MANUSCRIPT WOULD HAVE BEEN
15 TOTALLY DIFFERENT LOCATIONS
WITH HORRENDOUS SCENE CHANGES.
AND ONE DAY ROBIN PHILLIPS AND
I WERE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT
HOW TO TACKLE THIS AND ROBIN,
AS YOU KNOW, IS A VERY
INVENTIVE DIRECTOR WHO PUTS
FOCUS ON THE ACTOR, AND WE
FINALLY SAID TO EACH OTHER,
YOU KNOW, WITH THE WORDS OF
VIRGINIA WOOLF AND LEONARD
WOOLF, EDITED BY EDNA O'BRIEN,
GOOD WORDSMITHS ALL, WE DO NOT
NEED A LOT OF PRECISE VISUALS.
AND SO WE TOOK A MUCH
FREER POINT OF VIEW.
WE SAID, WE WILL SEE THIS
AS STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS
THROUGH VIRGINIA'S EYES.
AND WHAT I DID WITH IT WAS,
PATHWAYS THAT CAME FROM THE
UPPER RIGHT AND LEFT CORNERS
OF THE STAGE, CROSSED, AND AT
THE INTERSECTION THERE WAS A
SPACE IN WHICH THERE WERE TWO
CHAIRS.
OUR PROP LIST ENDED UP BEING
THE TWO CHAIRS, TWO BOOKS, AND
A TOBACCO POUCH AND A
PIPE FOR LEONARD WOOLF.
AND IT WAS ALL FOCUSED ON
THE WORDS AND THERE WERE
PROJECTIONS AND BEAUTIFUL
LIGHTING BY MICHAEL WHITFIELD,
AND A WONDERFUL USE OF SOUND
THAT ROBIN BROUGHT TO THE
PLAY, TOO.
WHAT IT, I SUPPOSE, AS AN
IMAGE FOR ME WAS, A SENSE THAT
HERE IS A WOMAN WHO IS TRYING
TO HAVE A CONSTRUCT IN HER
MIND, SOMETHING THAT IS RIGID.
SHE'S TRYING TO PACKAGE HER
LIFE, THIS TROUBLED PERSON,
IN A CLEAR WAY.
AND BY SETTING THAT KIND OF
TRANSLUCENCY THING, BECAUSE IT
WAS DREAM -- IT WAS ALSO KIND
OF DREAM THING -- YOU WOULD
SEE THE ACTORS APPROACH ON
THESE PATHS OUT OF DARKNESS
AND, YOU KNOW, LEONARD WOULD
BE SEEN THROUGH THE SHEER
DRAPES AS HE CAME INTO
VIRGINIA'S WORLD FOR A SCENE.
THEN HE WOULD PASS OUT AND
VITA WOULD ARRIVE, ETC. SO IT
WAS ALL ABOUT THE COMINGS AND
GOINGS, AND THE PHRASE THAT I
USED WAS, THAT THIS PLAY WAS
LOCATED AT AN INTERSECTION
IN HER MIND.
IT WAS JUST ALL OF HER
LIFE WAS RIGHT THERE.
AND IT WAS MY FIRST REACTION,
I SKETCHED IT OUT VERY QUICKLY.
SHOWED IT TO ROBIN WHO SAID,
YES, THAT'S INTERESTING.
LET'S PURSUE THAT, AND WE
PURSUED IT AND WE IMPROVED IT,
AND WE IMPROVED IT, AND WE
IMPROVED IT, AND THEN WE
LOOKED AT IT ABOUT TWO WEEKS
LATER AND TOOK OUT ALL THE
IMPROVEMENTS, AND WENT BACK TO
THIS VERY SIMPLE STATEMENT,
AND ONE OF THE NICEST
COMPLIMENTS I'VE EVER HAD WAS
IN THE THEATRE DURING DRESS
REHEARSAL WEEK WHEN EDNA O'BRIEN
WAS SITTING BEHIND ME,
TAPPED ME ON THE SHOULDER,
AND SAID, I MUST TELL YOU,
YOUR SET IS NOT AT ALL WHAT
I THOUGHT IT WOULD
BE FOR THIS PLAY.
CAN I ASK YOU A QUESTION?
AND I SAID, BY ALL MEANS,
AND SHE SAID, HAVE
YOU EVER BEEN MAD?
AND I SAID, NO, I DON'T THINK
SO, AT LEAST I'VE NEVER BEEN
TREATED FOR IT, AND SHE SAID,
WELL I'VE HAD MOMENTS IN MY
LIFE OF MADNESS, AND THAT'S
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE.

Richard says AND SINCE THAT WAS WHAT
VIRGINIA WOOLF FELT LIKE,
IT WAS EXACTLY RIGHT.

Phillip says IT'S ONE OF THE NICEST
COMPLIMENTS I'VE EVER HAD ON
A PIECE OF WORK, AND THANK
YOU FOR REMINDING ME.

Richard says THAT'S GREAT.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A VERY
RICH CAREER HERE GOING ALL
OVER OF THE COUNTRY'S THEATRES
OF ALL THESE VARIOUS SIZES.
WE NOW FIND YOU AS THE DEAN OF
FINE ARTS AT YORK UNIVERSITY.
I WANT TO KNOW, FIRST OF ALL,
WHAT BROUGHT YOU THERE?

Phillip says WELL, THE FIRST THING
THAT BROUGHT ME THERE WAS
WHEN I LEFT EDMONTON IN '78.
THE YEAR BEFORE THAT I CAME TO
VISIT TORONTO AND WINNIPEG,
AND ALL THE OTHER CITIES, AND
I THINK YOU WERE IN CAREER
TRANSITION MODE AT THAT POINT,
AND I WAS ALSO, AND WE WERE
ALL KIND OF LOOKING FOR,
WHERE'S THE NEXT PLACE TO BE.
AND I ARRIVED IN TORONTO AS A
YOUNG DESIGNER FROM THE WEST
TO SHOW MY PORTFOLIO, AND MY
BROTHER WAS A DANCER AT THAT
POINT AND HE WAS TEACHING AT
YORK, AND HE SAID, WELL, COME
ON UP AND SEE WHAT WE DO HERE,
AND I WENT INTO THE OFFICE
AND THE DEAN CAME ALONG.
A GENTLEMAN BY THE NAME OF
JOE GREEN, WHO I THINK YOU
PROBABLY KNOW.

Richard says RIGHT.

Phillip says AND JOE SAID IN HIS VERY
GRUFF WAY, YOU KNOW, THIS
PROFESSIONAL THEATRE IS FINE,
BUT YOU CAN'T KEEP THIS UP
ALL YOUR LIFE.
WHY DON'T YOU SETTLE DOWN
AND COME AND TEACH FOR US,
AND I LOOKED AROUND THIS
OFFICE AND I SAID, NO,
YOU'LL NEVER CATCH ME
IN A PLACE LIKE THIS.
BYE.
AND LEFT.

Richard says FLASH AHEAD.

Phillip says FLASH AHEAD ABOUT 5 OR 6
YEARS, AND YOU'RE DOING, AS
YOU VERY WELL KNOW, YOU'RE
DOING THE 180 DAYS AWAY FROM
HOME, DOING A PRODUCTION IN
VANCOUVER, EDMONTON, CALGARY,
NEPTUNE THEATRE IN HALIFAX,
THEATRE IN NEW BRUNSWICK
AND FREDERICTON.
YOUR KIDS SAY, MOMMY, WHO'S
THAT MAN WHO COMES TO VISIT
EVERY NOW AND THEN.

Richard says RIGHT.

Phillip says AND YOU ALSO BEGIN TO FEEL
THAT YOU'VE DONE A LOT AND YOU
HAVE A LEVEL OF SATISFACTION
WITH WHAT YOU'VE ACHIEVED AND
MAYBE IT'S TIME TO FOCUS
IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS.
GIVE SOMETHING BACK TO YOUNGER
PEOPLE, GIVE SOMETHING BACK TO
THE SOCIETY.
AND THAT HAPPENED TO ME.
IT ALSO HAPPENED, AS YOU
KNOW, THE LIFE OF A FREELANCE
DESIGNER MEANS A TREMENDOUS
AMOUNT OF WORK IN ORDER TO
MAKE A LIVING, CERTAINLY
DID THEN, AND YOU DON'T
NECESSARILY HAVE THE ABILITY
TO CONCENTRATE ON EACH WORK TO
THE FULL EXTENT THAT YOU WOULD
LIKE BECAUSE THE DOLLAR
PER HOUR BECOMES A REAL
FACTOR IN YOUR LIFE.
IT BECAME APPARENT THAT THERE
WAS A WAY VERY HAPPILY BECAUSE
THE NATURE OF THE UNIVERSITY
THAT YORK IS, WHEREBY ONE
COULD TEACH AND ALSO
MAINTAIN A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF
PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY.
WE EXPECT THE FACULTY
TO BE ACTIVE AS ARTISTS.
IF THEY ARE TEACHING ART,
THEY SHOULD BE DOING ART.

Richard says RIGHT.

Phillip says AND, THEREFORE, I WAS INVITED
TO GO TO YORK TO DESIGN OR TO
TEACH THERE AND
CHOSE TO DO SO.
I DROPPED THE NUMBER OF
PRODUCTIONS I WAS DOING FROM
ABOUT 8 TO 12, DEPENDING ON
WHAT A YEAR WAS LIKE, TO MAYBE
DOING 4 MAX, AND
MORE LIKELY 2 OR 3.
BUT THAT ALSO GIVES YOU THE
CHANCE TO CHOOSE A LITTLE BIT
MORE CAREFULLY WHO YOU WORK
WITH AND WHEN YOU DO IT,
AND WHAT THE TOPIC IS.
AND IT ALSO PUT ME IN A
SITUATION WHERE I WAS ABLE
TO THINK A LITTLE BIT MORE
CLOSELY AND MORE CAREFULLY
ABOUT WHAT IT WAS I WAS DOING.
BECAUSE ONE OF THINGS THAT
HAPPENS WHEN YOU TEACH IS
YOU HAVE TO STOP AND ANALYZE
YOUR OWN PROCESSES A BIT MORE
THAN YOU WOULD OTHERWISE,
AND PASS THAT INFORMATION
ONTO YOUR STUDENTS.
SO THE TIME THAT I SPENT
TEACHING AND DESIGNING WAS
REALLY QUITE
LUXURIOUS TIME FOR ME.
I THINK MY WORK GREW IN
TERMS OF WHAT I WAS DOING.
IT GAVE ME ACCESS TO
TREMENDOUS RESEARCH SOURCES,
AND A GREAT JOY OUT OF
WATCHING THE STUDENTS COME
THROUGH THE SYSTEM.
I THEN SOMEHOW GOT INVOLVED
IN THE PETER PRINCIPLE
EXPERIMENTS THAT GO ON IN MANY
GROUPS AND WAS ASKED TO BE CHAIR
OF THE DEPARTMENT, WHICH I DID,
AND THEN MOST RECENTLY DEAN.
AND IT'S NOT THAT DIFFERENT
IN SOME WAYS FROM DESIGNING
BECAUSE YOU STILL HAVE A
VISION OF WHAT YOU WANT TO DO.
YOU STILL WANT TO
WORK FOR A PUBLIC.
YOU WANT TO DELIVER
EQUALITY TO THE STUDENTS.
YOU WANT TO PRESENT SOMETHING
THAT IS WORTHWHILE
THAT HELPS THE COMMUNITY GROW.
AND TO DO THIS DREAM, WHICH
CAN BE THIS KIND OF EPHEMERAL
THING, YOU STILL HAVE TO DEAL
WITH BUDGETS AND SCHEDULES AND
PEOPLE, WHICH A DESIGNER
ALWAYS HAS TO DEAL WITH.
ONCE THE SHOW IS DESIGNED,
ONCE THAT MODEL THAT YOU'VE
TALKED ABOUT IS DONE, WE STILL
HAVE TO GET IT ON STAGE, AND
YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE PROP
PEOPLE, AND YOU HAVE TO TALK
TO THE ACTORS ABOUT THEIR
COSTUMES AND ALL OF THAT.
SO THAT IT REALLY IS THE SAME
KIND OF SKILL SET OF TAKING AN
IDEA AND GETTING IT THROUGH
TO FRUITION, AND I AM NOT
DESIGNING AS MUCH.
I HAVE TO PACE MYSELF
VERY CAREFULLY.

Richard says RIGHT.

Phillip says BUT I AM GETTING GREAT
JOY OUT OF THE CHALLENGE.
IT'S QUITE FUN.

Richard says IF A YOUNG PERSON CAME AND
SAID, OKAY, I'M INTERESTED IN
GOING INTO THE FINER
PERFORMING ARTS, BUT I DON'T
THINK I WANT TRAINING.
I JUST WANT TO GO DO IT.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?

Phillip says I'D SAY THOSE
DAYS ARE LONG GONE.

Richard says WHY?

Phillip says WELL, BECAUSE THE COMPETITION
OUT THERE, THE COMPETITION IS
SO GREAT.
WE WANT TO ACHIEVE MORE.
THERE ARE A WHOLE SET OF SKILL
SETS THAT YOU DO NEED TO KNOW
AS AN ARTIST IN
WHATEVER MEDIUM.
I THINK THAT YOU NEED TIME,
WHICH A UNIVERSITY EDUCATION,
PARTICULARLY THE WAY WE FRAME
IT AT YORK, TIME TO MATURE
AS AN INDIVIDUAL.
TIME TO LEARN ABOUT THE
KINDS OF THINGS, SUCH AS,
WHAT WERE THE POLITICS
OR SOCIAL BACKGROUND
OF SHAKESPEARE'S ENGLAND.
I MEAN, THE JOY OF A FILM LIKE
SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
IS THAT
TEXTURE THAT'S IN THE
BACKGROUND AGAINST WHICH
WE SEE THE PLAY.
THE TEXTURE OF THE POLITICS
OF THE PERIOD, THE COMMERCIAL
TRAVAILS OF A THEATRE.
ALL OF THAT IS PART OF
THE TEXTURE THAT REALLY
INTERESTS AUDIENCES.
NOW, SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE
THE YOUNG DESIGNER, YOUNG
ACTOR, YOUNG DIRECTOR, ETC.,
HAS TO HAVE SOME SENSE OF THAT
THERE IS A WORLD OUT THERE
THAT HAS TO BE FLESHED OUT
IN YOUR PRODUCTION, AND A
UNIVERSITY EDUCATION IS A
DARN GOOD WAY TO START.
IT ALSO, I THINK, EXPOSES,
PARTICULARLY DIRECTORS AND
WRITERS, TO ISSUES.
YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE MOST
EXCITING THEATRE THAT WE HAVE
TODAY IS THEATRE THAT HAS COME
OUT OF PARTICULAR ISSUES THAT
ARTISTS HAVE FELT
STRONGLY ABOUT.
WE HAVE IN TORONTO A NEW
THEATRE COMPANY THAT STARTED
WITH THE CELEBRATORY EVENT A
COUPLE OF NIGHTS AGO THAT IS
DEVOTED TO BLACK -- THEATRE
FOR BLACK ACTORS, BLACK
AUDIENCES, AND THERE WILL BE A
BIT OF AN EDGE TO THAT GROUP,
AND I HOPE SO, AND THAT'S BASED
ON A HISTORY THAT THEY KNOW.
WE HAVE SIMILAR THEATRES AND
WRITERS WHO ARE DEALING WITH
ISSUES THAT COME OUT OF A
KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD AND
THINGS THAT THEY
WISH TO TALK ABOUT.
SO A UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE
IS A GOOD BACKGROUND.

Richard says IT'S AN INCREDIBLY RICH TIME,
BUT PEOPLE BETTER GET THE
BACKGROUND TO LEARN
HAD TO DEAL WITH IT.

Phillip says ABSOLUTELY.
ABSOLUTELY.

Richard says PHILLIP, YOU HAVE
HAD QUITE A LIFE.
QUITE A CAREER.
YOU'RE STILL DOING IT.
THANK YOU FOR PASSING ON THE
KNOWLEDGE TO EVERYONE AND
THANK YOU FOR SPENDING
THE TIME WITH US HERE TODAY.

Phillip says A PLEASURE, RICHARD, THANK
YOU FOR HAVING ME HERE.

Richard faces the screen and concludes
FOR
DIALOGUE, I'M
RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
GOOD BYE FOR NOW.

Music plays as the end slate reads “Dialogue.”

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2000, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Show 24 - Philip Silver