Q&A with Raine Waring

Raine Waring wrote and is starring in her first one-woman show, Wait. The show, directed by Nathalie Vijver, Director of the Nathalie Vijver School of Drama and the Head of the Drama Department at the Cape Academy of Performing Arts, of which Raine is a graduate. The show will open on 21 July at Alexander Bar Theatre.

Q1: Tell us a bit more about your play, Wait.

Wait, is a 40-minute original physical theatre performance piece that uncovers the difficulties that women experience trying to free themselves from the cage that society tends to impose on them. It explores the complexity of gender as seen through the eyes of a woman struggling with her identity. This play delves into the mind of Monica Van Zyl, a character fraught with insecurity. Monica, is waiting to be saved, waiting for the return of her lover, waiting for the mirror to reflect a more favourable reflection, waiting to be let out of her cage and most importantly, waiting to be accepted. She has a distorted view of her self-image, internally and externally, constantly doubting herself and her place in the world and in love. Wait tells a truthful story that will encourage audiences to question themselves and their roles in society.

Q2: You wrote this play yourself. What is your writing process?

I had been wanting to write a play and put it on stage for a while. I knew that I wanted to write about something that is relevant to people today. The idea of women and the struggles that they encounter with their self-image, internally and externally appealed to me. Self-image has been something that I have struggled with before, and I still do sometimes. I know that it is an on going struggle for many women and men.

I made notes in notebooks every now and then when an idea, that I thought was worth writing down, popped into my head. The content of Wait is something familiar to me that I connect with, so you would think that the writing came easy. However, I didn’t want to be too literal and obvious. I found it daunting to start writing, but I found that once I started my imagination began to flow and slowly a story started to evolve. It was no longer my story; it became Monica’s story.

I completed a first draft over about 5 days of writing everyday. The first draft was very rough, but definitely a skeleton to work from. Since then I’ve had about 4-5 different drafts. The first few rehearsals were structured through a workshop process, which allowed me to reflect on personal discoveries of the character. I found that when I started to rehearse and received direction and feedback, the script and character started to evolve. By becoming Monica, I learnt more about her and thus over time she became more real and fleshed out, and so the script became meatier and more complex. I believe that every time I rehearse I learn something more about Monica and so Wait evolves even further. It’s never ending. It’s wonderful!

Q3: Why do you think people should watch your show?

I believe that some people, women in particular, can relate to being insecure, struggling with their self or body-image. They can relate to dealing with relationship problems or having a desire for freedom and relentlessly searching for acceptance and love. Wait appeals to women but it is not gender exclusive and will be entertaining to all. Women will relate to the themes that are explored in the play and it will give men insight into the ever elusive female psyche.

Wait puts the mind of one individual woman under the spotlight so as to examine these trials and tribulations that many women seem to face. Monica is an honest character, that the audience can relate to and sympathize with. She truthfully shares her thoughts and feelings as a woman trapped by her own insecurities and by the cage that society tends to impose on her.

Wait gives a voice to women struggling with their identity and their self-worth. This production attempts to unleash the inner voice that is constantly being silenced. It invites all South Africans to analyse their own reflection and to stimulate discussions around gender. Women are tired of waiting! Waiting to be noticed, waiting to be heard, waiting to be acknowledged and waiting for approval.

Q4: What are you hoping people will take away from the show?

We hope that the piece will be received as a daring, innovative, thought-provoking and outspoken look at the struggles and tribulations of being a woman in today’s society.

What makes theatre-making so exciting for me, is that audiences will form their own interpretations and have their own opinions about the theatre that they watch. Wait is relevant in our society today and by creating this piece of theatre, both Nathalie and I hope to encourage the audience to be socially aware of the effects of gender inequalities. We also encourage the audience to question themselves and their roles in society.

Q5: If the person behind Humans of New York came up to you, what would your story be?

I want to create more theatre and I want to create more opportunity for up and coming theatre-makers to create more theatre. In an ideal world I would be on stage all the time. I want to push boundaries, challenge myself and do wonderful things. Let see how far I go!

Wait runs from 21 to 23 July at the Alexander Bar Theatre. You can book tickets here.

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