Maya Zbib is one the coolest people I got to meet about 11 years ago. We connected over rings. She has ring for each finger then she laughed and told me, “I have a whole collection back home, these were the only ones I was able to bring”. Hahaha I love it. I love it when women are unashamedly big beautiful and taking care of themselves.
As a director Maya allowed us her actors to explore our characters in a way that was most natural to us. Unlike most theatre directors who use the same method for every actor on set, Maya recognized that we all had different journeys and personalities that we bring to the production. She allowed us to explore how we fit as individuals into the production. It was new kind of experimental theatre for me. I had reached a point where experimental theatre no longer felt experimental. The experiment didn’t feel experimentally enough. Perhaps I had taken one too many classes. But when Maya and her company, Zoukak Theatre, came in, I understood another angle of experimental theatre. She actually allowed us actors to play!
It may seem like an obvious, no brainer that the words ‘play’ is what we use to describe written works of drama. But I assure you, sometimes in the rehearsal room, what we do feels like something faaarrr from playing. Sometimes it feels like a mental asylum or penitentiary where they only allow you out to pee and then return to death and doom. There is no “play”. I’m one who believes that no matter how morose and miserable the subject matter is, the rehearsal process should, as much as possible, try to maintain some sort of play at least for mental health reason of the actors if not for show prowess. Maya understood that. It was a depressing topic for show but she directed us into character through games, jokes, fun rhymes, songs and basically….PLAY!