Q & A with Andrew Loretto – Dramaturg

31 October 2016

In between touring Witness, we catch up with Dramaturg, Andrew Loretto, for another behind the scenes look into our new show.

Q.1.What is your role in the production?
I’m Dramaturg on the show, which means that I help the team with the narrative shape and content and how all the elements link together to tell the story the company wish to tell. I’m only in some rehearsals so it’s great to see how things have moved on in between visits. This is my third production with Company Chameleon (after Gameshow and Beauty Of The Beast) and it’s always a pleasure to support such brilliantly detailed choreography.

Q.2. How do you approach the creative process?
It’s different for each show as my work can take place in a theatre, dance studio, cathedral or on a castle! But what I always try to do is enable everyone’s voice in the company. It’s really important that performers own the work. As dramaturg I ask lots of questions to try and find out what show the company really, really wants to make. My job is to try and help them get there.

Q.3. What is interesting about Witness to you and how will you add to the production?
I think the subject matter is an important one to explore and share with audiences. All of us will either directly experience or know someone who has suffered from mental illness at some point in their lives. Combining this with Company Chameleon’s invigorating and sensitive choreography is an exciting prospect. I will hopefully add narrative layers and cohesion plus my experience as a theatre maker.

Q.4. How did you get into theatre?
I started by acting in and directing some extra-curricular plays at school in Northern Ireland. None of my family is involved in the arts so I didn’t have any contacts! I went on to study Theatre as part of my degree at the University of Glasgow. I kept directing plays in my spare time when not studying or working and kept going…

Q.5. What are your top tips for an aspiring director/dramaturg?
Don’t talk about doing it. Do it. Take up any and all local opportunities you can find – for example through workshops or a youth theatre etc. Go and see as much work as possible – and take a few risks with what you see. Sign up to Artsjobs and Artsnews. And if you’re looking for part-time work while studying, don’t just work in any bar, work in a theatre bar or front of house! You’ll get to see lots of shows, meet artists and learn how venues work.

Our Autumn Tour of Witness culminates at The Lowry, Salford Quays on Tues 29 & Weds 30 Nov, 8pm. A second Spring 2017 Tour is soon to be announced – watch this space.

Find out more about Andrew and his work here: rightupourstreet.org.uk 

Follow Witness in the rehearsal process and on tour.  Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and on Instagram for rehearsal shots, behind the scenes vids and interviews with the company and the creative team.

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