Friday, July 1, 2016
Spotlight On...Yudelka Heyer
Hometown: Dominican Republic, San Pedro de Macoris
Education: American Academy of Dramatic Arts
Favorite Credits: Directing credits: Short films - "Unfinished Business", "Flip", "Cereal Killer", "Yellow", "With Ketchup"; Theatre - Red Valley, Good Morning and Good Night.
Why theater?: I love the collaborative process. The ability it gives in the rehearsal process to really dig deep into the character and Actor’s discovery process. The energy transferred between groups of people during this is magnetic. The image that comes to mind when I think how of far the development came from the first read to the final product is really rewarding. Theatre makes you laugh, cry, love, hate and whether you come to terms with it or not…it’s good to feel a part of that, it’s human.
Tell us about A Man Like You: It’s an original by Silvia Cassini that had its debut in Kenya. A Man Like You is a conversation between a British hostage, Patrick North, and his Somali captor Abdi, set in a windowless concrete room in Somalia. Elizabeth, North’s wife, provides a counter-point to the story, from the North’s house in Nairobi. The play was inspired by the events of 21st September 2013, when Somali men from a terrorist group opened fire on shoppers at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, killing at least 67.
What inspired you to direct A Man Like You?: It is a unique well written story in which Cassini exposes powerful themes such as religious believes and terrorism. As an artist, this is the type of story I am drawn to as it expresses a brutally specific message to its audience.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Any play that allows you to forget you are actually sitting in a theatre watching it. I really enjoy August Wilson for the strength of the relationships he creates between characters. I am also a keen Chekhov fan, but who isn’t? Passion, belief, resilience, power and killer drive are the characteristics that inspire me in an artist. As an artist, I am inspired by chocolate and Meryl Streep movies. ;-)
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Denzel Washington and Wagna Moura
What show have you recommended to your friends?: “House of Cards”
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: It will be Meryl Streep and the name will be “Hard is in your mind.”
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: The Father by Christopher Hampton with Frank Langella. I really wanted to see that
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Social Media
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Definitely a psychologist or therapist
What’s up next?: I need to go to the beach, then I’ll be coming back to plan our upcoming play and short film series.
For more on A Man Like You, visit http://www.red-soil-productions.com/