The Cataract – Behind the Scenes with Will Davis


My name is Will Davis and I’m directing “The Cataract” by Lisa D’Amour. …Through a series of stone arches, just south of the cataract. The cataract? The cataract. The play takes place in 1883 Minneapolis. Two couples who are complete strangers to each other are forced to share space for reasons that are outside of their control. And over the course of the play, the strangerness of each couple begins to infect the other. So by the play’s conclusion, you have four individuals who are strangers to each other who are forced to make decisions about their future. Stop singing! The conscious infects the subconscious. And the subconscious does the same to the conscious. So we end up in this place of placelessness. A place where truly magical and bizarre things can happen. To the city of men! To the men! Amen! There could not be more magic in this play. i think it’s probably the most magical play that I’ve made in my time here at UT. I hate socks I hate darning and I hate you! Welcome Dan. “The Cataract” is both a timeless piece and a timely piece. It’s timeless in the sense that all of its themes and questions deal with themes and questions we’re always asking ourselves in our own lives and in the theatre. He can darn a sock. What does the writer want to say, need to say, how are they saying it? In Lisa’s case, not only was she available to discuss the piece with me remotely, But she was here and participated in part of our rehearsal process and will also be able to see the final production. I think “The Cataract” is a timely play personally for me and also i think for us as a field of theatre practitioners. I personally and am on a cusp/verge moment in my own life. And so each of these characters draws me in in a unique way. And helps me re-experience my own place in the world. Then straight to the saloon on Washington Avenue. To the saloon? So Dan can meet other men. Trolley men, lumberjacks. To the saloon? I want to go to the saloon! [Laughs.]

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