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Interview with Polly K. Carl on LA BELLE ET LA BÊTE

Emerson student and Creative Producer in Training Stefan Martin interviews Polly K. Carl, Director of the Center for Theater Commons and consulting dramaturg on La Belle et la Bête. 

Stefan Martin: How did this collaboration between you and Lemieux Pilon 4D Art come about?

Polly K. Carl: What’s so powerful about the work that Victor and Michel are doing is that they really have such a strong sense of the spectacle and the kind of transformative power of the image, and I think that the instinct was that there were a lot of words getting in the way of the power of telling the story. So the collaborative work on the script that Rob Orchard, Victor and Michel, and myself did really came out of a sense that it could be stronger if we could lift the images more from the stage. After Rob had gone to see the production in an earlier form, Victor and Michel got in the car, came from Montreal and we just decided to spend a couple days in a room together. We watched every scene from the production, and we talked about each one. But it really started from that sense that the power of the story was diluted a bit from the language.

SM: What do you mean by “lifting the image?”

PC: There’s a way in which these guys work in almost a filmic, 3D kind of experience. There’s a way that if you have to listen too much, the power of those images doesn’t come at you in the same way. I think by simplifying the story, the images really have the impact that they’re intended to have.

SM: Did it feel counter-intuitive for you go to in being aware of listening too much?

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