Supporting creative work by women
You have another chance to see Megan Metrikin‘s stunning solo show Finding Fellini in New York City when she performs at Theaterlab November 10th to 13th. This deeply personal tale explores a young Jewish woman’s affinity for Federico Fellini’s films and the escape they gave her from the apartheid South Africa government of her childhood.
Works by Women spoke with Megan about her favorite Fellini film, creating a theatrical show about film and the best advice she’s ever been given.
WORKS BY WOMEN: Tell me about Finding Fellini. How did the show begin?
MEGAN METRIKIN: It is a true story. A story about following your dreams. I grew up in apartheid South Africa in an extremely oppressive atmosphere. I escaped into the films of Federico Fellini which my father projected onto the living room wall. One day after an array of bad experiences I realized that I had to go and find him, and I did that. I have been writing the play on and off for a while .
WBW: You are bringing it back to New York. What is new/different about this iteration of the show?
MM: We are tweaking the show a bit, adding, editing, making the necessary changes for a completely different venue.The nature of Theaterlab’s white box will change the show.
WBW: Which Fellini film resonates with you most right now? Why?
MM: Nights of Cabiria has always been my favorite. Fellini described his wife Giulietta Masina as not only the main actress but the soul of the film and the way she bares her soul in this film moves and inspires me deeply. Fellini gives voice to the voiceless. To those who don’t fit into society. The character of Cabiria is that of a woman who keeps fighting back no matter how horrendous her circumstance. A really extraordinary strong and fascinating character.
WBW: You and director Guy De Lancey have worked to develop the language of this show. Tell me about your collaboration.
MM: Guy and I first worked together at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg in a Chris Pretorius play called Weird Sex in Maputo. It was a fascinating piece about alienation and disenchantment set against the exquisite artwork of director and artist Chris Pretorius. We are now working on a film with him. The same characters at a different stage of life. Guy is a cinematographer, a lighting designer and theater director, and we have developed an understanding of all the elements with each other. We come from the same place and have a deep rooted similarity of taste, culture and respect for each other’s work.
WBW: What kind of theater excites you?
MM: Robert Wilson, Peter Brook, Pina Bausch, Theatre de Complicite, Cheek by Jowl. Anything with a new take, pushing the limits, taking chances, challenging boundaries.
WBW: You’ve traveled the world, performing in and experiencing theater. What have youlearned about theater as it is practiced in different parts of the world.
MM: I was very fortunate to have traveled around the world performing in the Junction Avenue Theatre Company’s production of Sophiatown. A musical play about Sophiatown, a legendary black cultural hub of a suburb in South Africa that was destroyed by the apartheid government. We went to lots of festivals in Europe and saw brilliant work. My eyes were opened to the many company’s doing exciting innovative work. I also witnessed the audience appreciation of good work, brilliant design and artwork. We were very cut off in South Africa from the rest of the world because of the cultural boycott and because of that we developed our own work in reaction to the political events in South Africa so it was an exciting and effective time to be making theatre.
WBW: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
MM: To leave self criticism and judgement out of the rehearsal room and to think about a play I am creating as a small gift to anyone who comes to see it.To try as best as I can to work straight from the heart and to never take a New York City for granted. It is a gem of extraordinariness.
Finding Fellini runs November 10th – 13th at Theaterlab in New York City. For tickets and information, please visit www.theaterlabnyc.com.