Q&A: Lungs

Director Weyni Mengesha on remounting Tarragon Theatre's award-winning show

Presented by Tarragon Theatre
Written by Duncan Macmillan
Directed by Weyni Mengesha

Weyni Mengesha

After earning the Toronto Theatre Critics' Award for Best Production of a Play and four Dora Award nominations in the 2013-2014 season, Weyni Mengesha is back at the helm of Tarragon Theatre's acclaimed production of Duncan Macmillan's Lungs, on stage from December 31 to January 25, 2015. Starring Lesley Faulkner and Brendan Gall, the play is an intimate look at a young couple struggling with the decision of of whether or not to bring up a baby in a world of global and economic uncertainty.

Here, Mengesha tells us what went into the making of this remarkable production.

Theatromania: How would you describe this production of Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs in a few sentences?

WM: A bare stage with two people who take you on a fast-paced ride through 50 years of their life. It is an intimate look at how we negotiate a life together through one long conversation.

Theatromania: Have you made any changes this time around?

WM: With a limited rehearsal the focus was to get the show back on its feet. However, it has been great to have had the time away from it to reflect on the material and make new discoveries. So we have kept the general physical shape but have gotten a chance to go deeper with our understanding of moments.

Theatromania: Why do you think the play resonates with so many people?

WM: The writing is raw, unapologetic and honest. I think people appreciate the show saying things that they may be too afraid to say to their partner that they came to the show with. We have had audience members thank us for the "long needed" conversation it sparked after the show.

Theatromania: What is the most challenging aspect of staging this particular play?

WM: Originally the hardest part was trusting that the simplicity on stage would keep audiences engaged. I kept fighting urges to make the blocking more complicated. Ultimately we stuck to our instincts which paid off.

Theatromania: What have you learned from this experience so far?

WM: That simple storytelling can be incredibly theatrical. Audiences enjoy being able to fill in the blanks with their own imagination.

Lungs runs from December 31, 2014 to January 25, 2015 at Tarragon Theatre. Visit tarragontheatre.com for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Wed, 2014-12-31 - Sun, 2015-01-25


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