In 2006 Rachelle Fordyce brought her one-person show netherwhere:etherwhen, in which she played Charon, ferryman of Hades, to the Fringe festival. This year she’s back with unADULTeRATED me, a completely different show.
- Theatre in London.ca: You’ve done some interesting training since netherwhere:etherwhen, including a long “Clown through Mask” program. How have those affected your work in general, and unADULTeRATED me in particular?
- Rachelle Fordyce: I loved the “Clown through Mask” workshop and would recommend it to anyone. The process one goes through in the workshop can be applied to more contemporary styles of acting as well as to more theatrical forms, yet the workshop is specifically designed for participants to discover/uncover the 6 masks and 12 facets of their own unique and individual clown. unADULTeRATED me is done in clown, and applying even some of the most basic principles from the workshop has helped me a lot in putting together and performing this new piece.
- TiL: You won the (CAFF touring) lottery! What festivals are you going to do, and why did you pick London as one of them?
RF: I had initially marked down Orlando, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, and San Francisco. That list, however, is no longer my current touring itinerary for the 2010 Fringe.
After winning the CAFF touring lottery, I decided I might as well add another Fringe Festival in between Montreal and Toronto Fringes. It was a toss up between Ottawa and London Fringe, since the two take place at the same time. I ended up going with London Fringe for a number of reasons, one of which being that I felt audiences at the London Fringe would particularly enjoy this type of play that I had in mind and intended to bring on tour.
Later on, near mid April, I pulled out of the two U.S. Fringes I had signed up for due to issues and concerns with Homeland Security. I’ve heard of a few stories of performers (whether in the theatre or music industries) going down to the U.S. to perform without an appropriate visa or permit, and then not only being denied access to the country for attempting to illegally “work” in the U.S., but consequently being banned from re-entering the U.S. for a period of 5 years.
Earlier this year I became involved in a relationship with a man who lives in the U.S. I had spent a couple months down there, and then returned to Canada for a couple weeks. My plan from there was to return to the U.S. and spend about a month or so with my love, and then carry from there directly to Orlando for the Fringe. However, a kink was thrown into that plan. On my way back down to the U.S. I was questioned quite heavily by Homeland Security. Because I had previously spent a couple months in the U.S., they suspected that I had been illegally working there in the U.S. and that I was an intended illegal immigrant. Thus, they limited my visit to 30 days, by which time I had to return to Canada, or risk being banned from re-entering the U.S. for 5 years. This also meant I could not be in the U.S. for the Orlando Fringe.
Now that my passport had been flagged, and not wanting to be banned from entering the U.S., I figured it was the safest bet to pull out of both Orlando and San Francisco Fringes. San Francisco Fringe even advised pulling out from their festival once I explained to them my recent encounter and predicament with Homeland Security. Being involved in a relationship with a U.S. citizen, I especially did not want to risk being banned from entering the country. It was disappointing to pull out of those two festivals, yet likely for the best in the long run.
- TiL: I just read that Jeff Culbert chose to direct your script for a Fringe-related 24-hour theatre project in Montreal. Can you say a bit about how that came about, and what you thought of the result?
RF: Yes — Jeff and I both participated in something called 24 Heures Pour Jouer, which was a bilingual event part of the Montreal Fringe this year, where several plays are written, directed and performed all within a 24 hour period.
There were a total of 6 plays written in total, 6 directors, and about 15 actors. Each director had the chance to select which script they wanted to direct, and Jeff chose mine. I was really pleased with the way Jeff directed the little piece I had written. If there was more time, I would have loved to see the sound effects implemented that I had written into the script, but even so, it was done really well. 🙂 Also, since I’m so used to performing the pieces I write, it was a different experience for me to play-write for actors other than myself. I loved the result! I’d definitely like to further explore the playwriting end of the theatrical spectrum in the near future.