Daisy Pulls It Off by Denise Deegan

Daisy Pulls It Off by Denise Deegan

I was in the play as the title role aged 12 so this play has always been an important part of my theatre soul.

I was approached by a friend to see if I wanted to run a theatre evening locally. I said I would prefer to put on a play and I happened to have the perfect one.

I had a window in my work schedule. Now when I say window I basically mean I wasn’t directing a feature film. I was however in post for two films, in pre for two others and had pilot season happening. As well as guests arriving to stay for Easter. But I crave creating and so I gave us an eight week window with which to make this happen.

We immediately cast using Film Independents fantastic casting space. I saw 30 girls in total over two days and needed 9. I had already made the decision to reverse the roles, all adults were to be played by kids and vice versa. So I needed to cast 9 adult (pupil) roles. It was all going so well but I could not find a Daisy. The last auditionee who was running late turned up. She was perfect. She was my Daisy. Phew!

We then had eight Monday’s 6.30-10 to rehearse. The Shade Hotel in Redondo Beach offered us a free space to rehearse. So now that was cast and rehearsals. I then invited a theatre producer Julie Nunis to help with all logistics. This allowed me the space to purely be creative. I explained what set and props I needed. She set about making that happen.

We went through the play a total of four times before tech and dress. I decided to use a lot of physical theatre and keep the stage clear and simple. The colors were the school colors and on a black stage they really stuck out. The cast were also responsible for moving the stage onto whichever scene we needed next as part of their movement. They also had books as fabrics attached to the back of their school shirts that were let down whenever the library needed to appear. The same occurred for the portrait gallery with frames. It was fluid and moved from scene to scene without the audience being aware things were changing.

Tech and dress was a twelve hour day. Non stop getting it right. Over and over again. I love contemporary dance and physical theatre so my piece really centered around the physicality. The hockey game was a theatrical version of real movements.

We sold out on the third night and had over half full on the other two nights.

The cast were incredible and I am so proud of everyone.

We will be touring this in LA to local theatres. So watch out for our next dates.

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