The following piece was submitted by Callum Pfofl, director of Those Darn Donovans, produced by SCaT Theatre. The piece is part of QDF’s series of artist-submitted works detailing experiences creating at the 26th edition of the St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival.

The process for SCaT’s (Sebastien & Callum’s anglophone Theatre) upcoming first Fringe show Those Darn Donavan’s has been an extremely satisfying (if taxing) process and collaboration. As co-director and co-writer of the show alongside Sebastien Burke, I have learned so much about what it really takes to put on a professional theatre show. You have to be willing to go into rehearsal with a plan, with a precise and calculated vision of what you want to be taken away from the script, but then expect at any second for those plans to be thrown away. I would say that has been my greatest takeaway from this experience, is understanding that your vision is not the only one; there are a team of artists and people passionate about the same field as you are willing to take ideas and run with them.

This cast has been tremendous to work with, from the early stages when they developed a far superior ending to the show than Sebastien and I had created, to the very end of rehearsals when we see the weeks and months of dedication they’ve been bringing to getting these characters off the page onto the stage. Even co-ordinating with the Fringe Festival and Mainline Theatre staff as a whole has broadened my eyes on what it means to be a director: persistent but not overbearing, kind but not a push-over, direct but not rude. To be a good director is to be a precise director, and I’m not saying I am.

I’m only writing this because I want people, our audience, anyone else who is as new to directing a Fringe show as I am, to know that being a good director is not an easy process. But hell, it’s been fun and isn’t that the point? Sure, this may not be remembered in the canonicity of the Fringe community as a ground-breaking production with grandiose hopes of touring on national stage, but I know that the conduct I’ve tailored to rehearsals, and people outside working in the complex honeycomb of the Montreal Fringe.

Those Darn Donovans plays from June 10th-19th at MainLine Theatre (3997 St-Laurent). For showtimes and tickets, check out the FRINGE website.

Pictured above (counter-clockwise, top, bottom, bottom, top): Caelen Corrigan, Alyssa Angelucci-Wall, Naomi Cormier, Anastasios Fraghias. Photo credit: Helen Park.

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