tbabgabbyBlank pages upset Edgemead’s 23-year-old Gabriella Pinto. When she’s in the mood she wants to fill them with words and dialogue.
Not just any words, but the one’s which always belonged there.
And then, when they have been placed with utmost care, the script would take on a life of it’s own.
It is known to win competitions and set the stage alight.
Gabriella might be young, but she is already on her way to conquer the performing arts world.
Her latest play, Chickens, is now showing at the Magnet Theatre, so TygerBurger had to move fast. A playwright’s time is limited after all.
When they aren’t mingling with high society they declare war on blank pages and fill them with wonder.
The setting for the interview was Alexander Bar in town and the motivation was: “Let Gabriella’s magic spill over into TygerBurger.”
“It’s been surreal and exciting,” she states meticulously.
Gabriella appears calm on the surface, but inside she is jumping up and down with joy and apprehension.
It’s opening night for Chickens that evening, so her angst is hardly unexpected.
“I graduated last year and for your final exam you get to put on your own play. The last time I felt this nervous was last year!”
That play is named Eden and, after it graced the stage at UCT, it went on a sight-seeing trip through the Grahamstown Festival and will soon drop in at the Intimate Theatre in Orange Street.
Eden’s success ensures that it flies first-class.
Suffice to say that Gabriella is currently pre-occupied with Chickens.
“I started writing it in February/March for the inaugural SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition and the prize was to have it run at Magnet Theatre. I saw the competition on Twitter and was bored one day and thought I’ll just write something and submit it! It’s about a seasoned journalist and a young hipster/student/blogger/intern. The journalist has to write a play and he’s got to stick to a strict deadline. This intern is helping him, but some major conflicts, such as subject matter, occur,” elaborates Gabriella.
“Tara Notcutt directs it and the cast features Adrian Galley, Dylan Horley and Kelly-Eve Koopman. This is the first time someone else directs what I have written, so it’s very interesting. I wrote the play and surrendered it to Tara. If you can learn to let the work go and let it grow, then only good things can come from it,” she explains.
Even though she admits that everyone has a story to tell, there are merits to studying she says.
“There’s a certain formality, structure, a certain way a play is presented on paper. Some, of course, naturally have a good ear for it.”
She mentions that it takes discipline to sit and write any particular day – even if it is “just” 10 pages a day!
“There’s not a big enough interest in performing arts in South Africa, but just this week 10 plays opened, which is quite phenomenal. There seems to be a new surge of energy where young people are getting involved. Theatre is almost having a bit of a revival, but I don’t think in South Africa it’s a big cultural thing. We’re more of a sporty nation. Younger people must, however, generate interest.”
Gabriella has plenty to say, so blank pages everywhere beware!