Ready to Launch
by Sue Zizza - Director

Posted March 30, 2011 at 11:12 PM EST

It's Tuesday the 29th of March at 6:00pm and I am sitting in the studio listening for a few more little bits of 'business' to add to the sonic portrait that has become The Witches of Lublin. It's thrilling, and exhausting, to be bringing this to life in these last few hours before our launch this Friday on April 1st.

At the moment I am listening to tsimble riffs and wondering which one will make Sorele's line come to life in Scene 2 - and then next we're onto the rabbi's house to 'tweak' the kitchen door.

I like to work in layers, so it's like growing an onion, instead of peeling away layers, I add them until the whole round orb is complete and a new world is created.

This adventure began for me last Spring when a dear friend called and asked if I knew any audio drama directors here in New York who might like to be considered for this project.  Having been, at that very moment, looking for a audio play to direct and produce I thought "Hmm, could this be my next tale to tell?"

Working with this trio of writers has been a really collaborative process. Each has their own vision of the play, while at the same time all working to serve its core story, Rivke's story. The story of this women who is trying to serve her family, and the music she loves, while she watches it all slipping away.

The characters I have had the privilege to meet through The Witches of Lublin have brought me have a deeper understanding of a culture I thought I was already very familiar with. I find myself wondering where they will be next once their play ends.

The cast we were lucky enough to assemble brought the heart of each of these characters to the surface through their unique audio performances. No matter how many times I hear certain lines, these performances ring so true, they make me laugh, or cry, at the same moment over and over again. I have been lucky enough to work with some old friends, and also to meet some new voices, who I hope will become regulars in the studio. A more talented group I could not have hoped for. I send my thanks to each of them for allowing me to use their voices and imagination to shape this tale.

My studio partner, David, has once again taken the sounds I hear and brought them to life through his skillful use of the audio production tools at his disposal. For this story he had many typical and unusual tasks: from baffling half a house, so I could capture the movement of Sofia around her Unclie's table, to editing the voice tracks over, and over, and over until they were alive and we were to time for broadcast, David has helped me put each new layer onto this story to create a rich and textured environment in which these characters live.

And then there are all the others whose contributions have made this a reality: funders, graphic artists and web designers, sound effects artists and administrative helpers - without all of whom we'd still be in draft one of this project. It can indeed take a village to create a work of art like The Witches of Lublin.

Has it been easy and fun every moment? No. There have been to many late nights and bills still to pay, but as Rivke says "life is made of the sweet with the bitter" - and there have been many many more moments of sweet with The Witches of Lublin.

We're not quite done yet, little bits more to do, but I feel sure that when we're done, it will be start of another excting journey for these witches, as they travel the airwaves this Passover season.

One last note - to the many who have encouraged and challenged me along the way - thanks - you made me think this was possible and so it has become a reality.

Sue Zizza
Director / Producer
The Witches of Lublin
for SueMedia Productions

 

 

 

 


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The Witches of Lublin was originally commissioned by the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music, through a generous donation from Arthur and Marilyn Feinberg, and premiered in a live performance version at the 2007 Michigan Festival of Sacred Music.

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