Tuesdays and Sundays

Tuesdays and Sundays by: Daniel Arnold and Medina Hahn
Posted on 07/13/2020

Animatic by FFCA High School Performing Arts Students

Animators:  Tulia Rios (grade 9), Anastasia Turcan (grade 10), Shivani Khanna (grade 10)

Editors:  Shivani Khanna (grade 9) and her little brother Veer Khanna (grade 7, SMS)

Stage Manager:  Shivani Khanna (grade 9)

Directors:  Abhay Parmar (12), Sydney Rolfe (grade 12)

Assistant Director:  Tulia Rios (grade 9)

Musical Composer/ Instrumentalist:  Dai Matsuzaka (grade 10)

Character Voices: Sydney Rolfe (12), Abhay Parmar (12), Dai Matsuzaka (10), Anastasia Turcan (10)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0Q6M9Te91c&feature=youtu.be

As the assistant director for FFCA’s Tuesdays and Sundays, I was at first nervous about my job. Little did I know was that this role allowed me to watch over the process as an outside eye and give my own little suggestions and notes from what I saw. As someone who watched and engaged in the behind the scenes, I was asked to write this blog to share with you the months we spent on this incredible play.

Rehearsals were usually long, ranging from the end of school to 6PM on a short day. But those hours we were given were always well spent, thanks to the direction of Sydney and Abhay, who were our fearless Gr 12 directors and actors. They never failed in terms of efficiency and scheduling, while also giving us time to connect with our new team members and allowing us short breaks when needed. These small pockets spent resting became essential to our work, since we became closer with each other, which made it easier and much more fun to work together. I believe due to it, we were able to get so much done in terms of memorization of lines, analysis of text, movement, character depth work, and blocking. It was stated many times how efficiently we seemed to work, which I realized was thanks to Sydney and Abhay's exceptional leadership.

Along with phenomenal leadership, the rest of the team - Dai, Anastasia, and Shivani -  was also so amazing in terms of dedication, work ethic, and creativity. Everyone was willing to put in their time and energy to take the play from page to stage, which was very much appreciated. Sometimes we would gather in a small circle and discuss things we were wondering about, such as underlying themes and symbols in the play or complicated text analysis. These discussions were one of my favorite parts of the process, since we all shared our ideas and contributed to the discussion, until finally we hit that “AHA!” moment when we all got excited about the new discovery. We would proceed to find ways to incorporate these ideas, themes, and symbols into our production. These moments together not only connected us, but also enriched our understanding and synthesis of the play.

We were so excited, the productions were coming up, and we were hustling to finalize the production elements. We bid each other goodbye as the weekend began, preparing to relax and do some homework. Then Sunday, March 15 happens, and it is announced school is cancelled due to COVID 19. I was struck with a sudden feeling of loss, confusion, uncertainty. What will happen now? I realized we wouldn't be able to put on the play we worked so hard to create, the play we analyzed and understood, the play we loved so deeply, the play that connected us. To be honest, it was really depressing to feel such a loss for something so big, so beautiful. I quickly felt I didn't cherish those moments together enough, how lucky we were to have such a great community and team to work with - and now it was gone. 

Luckily, we found we were given something new to do with our team:  to create a video of a small section from Tuesdays and Sundays, within a few months. On my first online meeting with my team, we discussed possibilities and forums for expression. An idea struck me, realizing three of our members are artists, including myself. I suggested we create an animatic of the play, using voiceover for the acting. I didn't think the team would actually take to the idea so well, but It was decided we would animate the video!

And so it began. It took hours to animate, drawing each individual panel based off the section we were doing. Personally, the entire project took me about a month to fully complete in terms of visuals. I would divide my time so it wouldn't be too stressful, and I was glad to finish it a few days before the due date. Before I finished the animation, I received a call from Abhay, my director and the character of William, and Dai, who played William’s ghost . They told me about how they wanted a prologue and epilogue of sorts, to flesh out the rest of the story for the audience. They asked if I would illustrate the panels for that. I agreed, since I knew I would be done with the animation soon and would have time to draw it. Within those last few days, Dai called me and he would work on the music composition while I worked on the panels. I really am grateful for those calls, as we got to talk and connect for hours, while creating some beautiful together synergistically - he gave me what he wanted for the panels visually and kept me motivated in terms of working on them. I am not sure I would have been able to finish them so efficiently without him and his grace. Thank you, Dai. 

I am very happy with how the entire project turned out. The effort was worth it and I am glad to have creatively produced something this year. But what I am most thankful for is the work the rest of the team put into it.

Shavani and Anastasia, the two other artists, also put in so much sweat and tears into their sections, which really shows since the animation flows very nicely despite there being three different artists with varying styles. Animation is stressful, time-consuming work. Seriously, it was tons of work to illustrate this, so I am glad we all stuck to it, and created something magical together. 

The animation was not just the work of the artists, but also Dai’s beautiful music with Abhay and Sydney’s thoughtful leadership, acting, and directing, helping schedule meetings and approve our ideas. Dai was always so creative and seems to have a great idea every second of his life! When I worked with him on the prologue and epilogue, it really showed me how passionate he was about the show and how dedicated he was to making this the best it can be despite the circumstances. 

Finally, thanks to our directors, we wouldn't even know what to do when we were hit with Corona cancelation. They organized the meetings and kept in contact with us, updating us on anything we needed to know and keeping us on track! They would ask questions, ensure we aren't too overloaded with work, and check up on us when needed. Their organization really brought the video together.

All in all, this whole thing was a huge learning curve for me, especially as a Grade 9 student. As someone not as experienced in One Act, I am glad for what I have been through during rehearsals and during those hours spent animating.
           
I would like to thank playwrights Medina Hahn and Daniel Arnold for writing such an incredible play, honestly the depths of its story and message really extends beyond what I believed it to be. Thank you to them for taking the time to watch our video and for deciding to share it, that is such a huge deal for our team. We are incredibly humbled and honoured. 

Finally, I’d like to thank Ms. Orchard and our whole performing arts program who made this opportunity available to us and so special.  We were producing five student directed plays - Tuesdays and Sundays, Shopaholic, The Giver, The Insanity of Mary Girard, and Blood: A Scientific Romance - to compete in our local Zones Festival and, hopefully, one of our plays  would have succeeded in being chosen to perform in Provincials at Red Deer College. 

As a final note, this whole thing could have gone better, like COVID never happening and letting us put on a bomb performance. But, I am thankful for what happened anyways because my team still had an amazing experience - and the process is just as important as the product. I wouldn't change what I have learnt, so I wouldn't change what happened for a second. I’m so very fortunate for the people I was honoured to work with and the learning I have experienced.  

Infinite love and gratitude - Tulia Rios (Grade 9, FFCA High School)

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