Meet the Makers: Sam Scott
Published: Thursday 31 August, 2023
In the third part of our Meet the Makers Series, we sat down with Massive Company founder and director Sam Scott. Aside from directing heartwarming and moving works, she delivers workshops to young people, emerging artists and teachers, and trains teaching artists and directors within Massive. We sat down with her to discuss the inspiration and the moving force behind Half of the Sky.
Now sit tight, and let’s meet the maker!
Image Credit: Andi Crown
Introduce yourself and your arts practice.
Kia ora, I am Sam Scott and the founder/artistic director of Massive Theatre Company. I am also the director of Half of the Sky. I also am a teaching artist working with emerging and professional theatre artists and often anyone in between these two areas who is wanting to explore how we create theatre. I am continually interested in all the ways we can theatrically explore and ‘tell’ stories. What’s satisfying and why? I love working with personal stories, perspectives and ideas and the detail of this, the specificity of this. I only make new work.
What’s your favourite thing about what you do?
The People. Everyone I get to work with on a daily basis be it on the rehearsal or workshop floor, in the office with our magnificent team, working alongside our collaborators and our partners, our board. I am extremely blessed to be working with magnificent people pretty much all the time.
What’s the hardest thing about what you do?
It’s what I love and what is hard…making the unknown known. Holding the course…and trying to not let doubt sneak in unless it’s useful doubt. Trusting that a hunch we had will come to something that others will think is worth sitting in a theatre for.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Put your own oxygen mask on first Sam, you’re not bullet proof. Knowing when you need to take a wee look at how you are going, how’s your mental health, your needs….do you need to readjust.
What’s the best show you’ve seen this year?
Kura Forrester’s solo comedy show, Here if you Need. She is so happy to be on stage and I love this, as well as what she notices and makes her comedy about.
Who are your favourite artists/theatre companies/musicians etc. and why?
OOOH that’s tough…I love so many artists….obviously all of the cast of Half of the Sky….seriously! Plus Ana Scotney and her theatre shows, they just blow my mind. Nathan Joe…Scenes from a Yellow Peril was a definite favourite of mine in 2022. Complicite and DV8 were very much companies that were my favourite earlier on. Now Hofesh Schecter Company makes me just not want to leave the theatre when I watch their work, it connects deeply to my inner self and I just can’t get enough. I have such an eclectic music taste depending on what I am thinking of, particularly in relation to my work. Harmony Hogarth who just composed most of the music for our emerging artists production Heart goes…BOOM! Is one to watch and we have nabbed her for our new show in 2024.
Tell us about Half of The Sky.
Lennie James has written the most poignant and magnificent play. I am directing it for the 3rd time and I relish this. This story and the characters are solid gold. We throw a light on these 5 people and the ways they are working out life and what to cherish in it, in the face of someone dying. It is a play that fills your heart so fully while also allowing you to shed glorious tears about those most important things. Because Lennie wrote it for Massive, for these actors, from their and others’ stories, it rings so true…it fits their bodies and their mouths so beautifully.
What can audiences expect from Half of the Sky?
To laugh and cry. To love the actors on stage. To maybe want to add their own thoughts (our audiences in 2019 got quite vocal watching the show, it was like they forgot they were in the theatre…”Aunties” would say “that’s right Ny, I agree” or some girls in the front row on one night in a particularly poignant moment said ‘I thought that too…good choice” directly to the actors in the scene). To have felt like you have had a great ‘meal’ of story and experience. You will probably want to call people you love and tell them that.