Director’s Notes by Megan Watson
Andrew Bovell’s When the Rain Stops Falling is a saturated piece of writing. During the rehearsal process I was continually astounded by the incredible journey that each actor has to walk in order to lift this winding story from the page. The play travels between London and Australia, spans 80 years and four generations yet still maintains a sense of intimacy. Seven actors play nine roles. This means that David Ley and Tim Welham play their own grandsons. Nancy McAlear and Kathleen Weiss play the older and younger versions of the same woman, as do Bobbi Goddard and Sandra Nicholls.
The world into which these characters are thrown is shrouded in secrecy. In Gabriel York’s opening speech he says, “The past is a mystery.” But the truth will always reveal itself. It can fester beneath our skin for a while, generations even, eventually it will rise to the surface. The way Bovell’s characters are grappling with the devastating unavoidability of the truth is reminiscent of classical Greek drama. The human need to know, to understand, drives all of us. But how do we carry it once it is revealed?
The play loops, weaves and ripples through time and place. The past haunts the future and the future reaches into the past. The structural rules of the play are fluid like water. This is fitting since water is a recurring and persistent symbol throughout the play. You can’t stop water from flowing and eventually it creeps into our clothes and drenches our bones. Bovell’s metaphorical use of water beautifully reflects the emotional life of the play while commenting on the world’s current climate crisis.
When the Rain Stops Falling inspires and challenges me and I am so glad that this brilliant company of artists and practitioners have the opportunity to share it with the Studio Theatre audience. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to my loved ones for all their support and to the faculty for their guidance during this graduate school adventure.
by Megan Watson, MFA Directing candidate, University of Alberta
About the Playwright: Andrew Bovell
Andrew Bovell was born in 1962 in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, and has written prolifically for the stage, film and television. Bovell’s work touches on a wide range of social and political themes.
About When the Rain Stops Falling
When the Rain Stops Falling premiered at Brink Productions in 2008 for the Adelaide Festival for the Arts. It won numerous awards, including the Queensland and Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards for Best Play, the Sydney Theatre Award for Best New Australian Work, and the Adelaide Critics Circle Individual Award. It has been produced extensively internationally and is arguably Andrew Bovell’s best-known work, with its New York production at The Lincoln Center (2010) named Best Play of the Year by Time Magazine
Performance Dates and Times:
Evening performances of When the Rain Stops Falling run May 15 – 24 , 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the Timms Centre for the Arts (87 Avenue & 112 Street) on the University of Alberta North campus in Edmonton. There is a $5 preview Wednesday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. There is no performance on Sunday, May 18. A matinee is scheduled for Thursday, May 22 at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are on-sale now, available for $11 to $22 at TIX on the Square (7804201757 as well as in-person at the Timms’ box office. See www.ualberta.ca/artshows for more ticket and show time information.