Tell us a bit about the background to your piece: how did you come up with the concept, what was your process in terms of bringing it from concept to final product?
Sue: I kept a kind of journal when my sons were young. Really it was meant to write down the charming and sweet things my boys said when they were young. It’s explained in the film. All of the juicy bits are in the film! A couple of years ago, I was asked to put together a piece for Dark Glass Theatre’s annual storytelling event, Trespass. I thought about using some of the material from the journal. When asked to do something for Abby Fest 2020, I thought I might work with that material again, as I just wasn’t quite finished with it yet. The material deals with being part of the “sandwich generation”. No, not the baloney and pb and j sandwiches of my youth, but the joys and challenges of being sandwiched between being a Mom with young children while at the same time being a daughter with aging parents.
Sue: There are all kinds of choices you make in theatre and in film. It is lost to time who actually said, “necessity is the mother of invention,” (Plato certainly wrote about the concept) but it is through necessity that some of our style choices were made for this film. One of the main choices is style. We wanted to film this as a “normal” kind of acting film but were having trouble making the audio sound good doing that. We had some audio equipment but not enough. When I was in university, I studied the history of film and there was a particular famous French film maker from the 60’s and 70’s named Jean Luc Godard. One of the styles that he used was voice over in his films. Without even remotely comparing ourselves to Godard, we decided to use that voice over style so that we could give you good audio. In this COVID time, we wanted to do what we could to give you the great outdoors too and it seemed to fit within our themes. So, it appears almost as a character in our film.
Making this film was a learning experience for Emmett and I. I wrote the script (with a nod to some great lines from my family) and learned how to edit audio. Emmett learned how to be a camera man and edit video.
What do you hope audience members will experience or take away from your performance?
Sue: We make mistakes, sometimes funny sometimes serious but there is always hope, in love and forgiveness, that we can work to be better.
Emmett: Ultimately, I want nothing more than that people will see the hope in this story and will find the humour and honesty to be something that brightens up their day. Beyond that, I think that the final part of the film hints at how we sometimes need to be reminded that we do not have to blame ourselves for the things that are out of our control, and that it is okay to forgive yourself for those things.
Anything else that you feel is vitally important for audience members to consider as they engage with your piece?
Emmett: If you swallow a nickel by accident, you’ll probably be okay.
Motherhood and Being a Sandwich or The Best Laid Plans will be screened on October 16 & 17 as part of Abby Theatre Fest: Stage to Screen Edition. For complete details and to purchase tickets, please visit HERE.