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Richard De Luca

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This is Richardís 4th involvement with ETS and his first as a director. This also represents his second attempt at writing, and the support of ETS in accepting the play for their festival is much appreciated. Richard has been seen recently at the Dolphin One Act Festival and in Nude with Violin with ETS last year. Working with such a talented cast and watching his script come to life has been a wonderful experience.

David Blakey talks with Richard de Luca, the writer and director of Happiness, one of six plays in the Ellerslie One Act Play Festival.

: It would have been fairly easy to find an existing one act play to direct, so why did you decide to write your own play and direct it yourself?

Richard: I started with the desire to write a play - this is my second one now - and the directing followed. I had been thinking that I should turn my ability to put words into other people's mouths into something more constructive, so I sat down to try at the end of last year. Once I got started, I really enjoyed it and got two short plays on paper. The first one was produced as part of the Dolphin One Act Festival earlier this year, and I took a part in that one with Cynthia Cahill directing. That gave me a great opportunity to watch her direct material that I obviously knew well, which meant that I could focus on how she directed - it was a fantastic learning experience for me. When this new play was accepted for the ETS festival, I talked to Bruce Brown for advice and he suggested that I look at directing it myself, which I have ended up doing, and it turned out to be great advice for me personally because I have had such a great time doing it. Huge thanks to the cast for putting up with me!

David: What are the opportunities and the problems that arise from directing your own work?

Richard: The big plus is that you know the material so well, and have a clear idea of what you thought it would look like - it is pre-interpreted. No time spent trying to figure out what the writer was trying to achieve. The potential downside is that you close down too much and too early in terms of other interpretations of the words. It always amazes me how differently two people can interpret the same words. Being open to different interpretations and letting actors take the characters to places that you did not imagine yourself is a key challenge.

David: What is the one major lesson you've learnt?

Richard: The big lesson for me is to get a great cast - I learned this because I had the great fortune to have exactly that. Four actors who knew what they were doing, were enthusiastic to be involved and put a lot of work into the production - my job could not have been easier. Watching the words which were just sitting on the page when I had finished writing come to life through David, John, Mandy and Donna was the best part of the experience.

Richardís first Auckland appearance was at Ellerslie in 2012, in Nude with Violin. His last appearance was at Dolphin, earlier this month, playing Howie in Rabbit Hole. Prior to that, he was joy to behold in tight leather trousers, as Thomas the Toy-boy in Itís Never Too Late. Outside of acting, he is studying playwriting part-time at the University of Auckland and directing this, his latest one-act play, as part of the Ellerslie festival. This is the third of Richardís one-act plays to be produced, and he says, as always, the opportunity to work with such great people to bring the words to life has been the most fun.

For Ellerslie TheatreActs And Omissions (2015)writer
Acts And Omissions (2015)director
Happiness (2013)writer
Happiness (2013)director
Present Laughter (2013)set designer
Nude With Violin (2012)Colin Sorodin
Les Liaisons Dangereuses (2012)Merteuilís Majordomo