A ‘multi-layered’ path!
Having studied filmmaking at Alba, Solange Trak worked as a TV presenter, and in the production field. Liaisons Dangereuses, a play directed by Joe Kodeih, starring alongside her Bernadette Houdeib, Bruno Tabbal, Joe Kodeih, Patricia Smayra, with a special homage appearance for Renee Deek, is her second play. Fakhamet El Rayis by Jalal Khoury was her first one.
Solange challenged herself, adapted in a short-term period, and persevered –a quality that is typically hers-, until she made it through, all the way to Madame de Tourvel character, which she interpreted in her very own way. She reflected classiness and elegance in the character itself and painted decently Tourvel’s shy yet fervent emotions on stage. Thoughtful and joyful, Sola holds bits and pieces of the joy of living within, and she splashes them around to every person who gets to know her.
Knowing you have experienced both TV and theater platforms, where do you find yourself mostly?
Actually, I like both fields.
In television, one can repeat each sequence ten times a day or more; there is no continuity in the shooting process and this is very hard. It’s also difficult to be able to fully step into the character’s shoes in such a short period of time. It’s a nice experience but involves a lot of pressure though.
In theater, the performance is live and there is a nonstop flow to the scenes. I like it when there are unpredicted situations or faults. They would give more intensity to the scenes. Besides, when I’m on stage, I forget about everything else and become the character. I am passionate about the role I play and I feel happy all the time, even while I’m playing sad scenes. The weird thing is that I don’t feel stage freight, or just a little.
In what ways did Tourvel the character enrich you and what did you give to the character yourself in return?
Joe Kodeih says that he wants the characters to get closer to the actors and not the opposite. Still, I believe that there was a combination of both in this situation. I gave her a lot and took a lot from Tourvel. Thus, a third character was created and it is a mix of both of us. Tourvel is a multiple-layered character. She looks simple but has many layers on the inside, with a lot of taboos, and more of a shy person. She looks simple, but in fact, she is a very complicated human being. In Liaisons Dangereuses, she finds her extreme opposite and the weird thing is that they fall in love.
When it comes to directing, what did Joe Kodeih teach you or communicate to you?
I had my first stage experience with Jalal Khoury, from whom I learned basic theater and voice techniques. What Joe taught me is to release myself and my inner energy and react to what he’s saying on stage. He always says ‘react.’ This action-reaction made it easy on me to go through this role, even when I’m not speaking, which shows the emotions I respond with. He taught me to break free and release the chains my body is entrapped in.
What about the homogeneity of the team, as it reflects on stage somehow?
Our team is very homogenous. We’re full of very good intentions, vibes, and support. The backstage is a second scene on its own with every person present back there. We’re a family. I wish we could have one camera to film us backstage, it’s another story.
You step on stage with the two male characters: Bruno Tabbal and Joe Kodeih. To which extend is the seduction approach involved in your role and what other energies are mainly involved in it?
When Bruno invites me for the ball dance, he always whispers to me ‘Hi Sweety…’ in his very own funny way. So I keep smiling and laughing all the ball through. I feel this is my small escape in this play.
Joe and myself have worked a lot on each scene and you can notice the evolution throughout the scenes. Tourvel seduces him but keeps him away so I would say that the interiority of the character is based on seduction. She wants to attract him. Besides, she is curious to know how this womanizer would be like, knowing that she hasn’t gone through any experiences. She is also afraid that someone would see them and jeopardize her reputation. She tells him ‘when I’m with you, I don’t even trust myself.’ In fact, she doesn’t trust herself as she feels that she has an inner energy that needs to be released and set free.
How do you manage to keep a balance between your life and the theater engagement from both time management and special perspectives, knowing that theater is a world on its own?
Joe was really flexible with me –since I was rehearsing with him at first, before rehearsing with the team, as our scenes are together. On the emotional level, it’s a separate cycle all actors are into together. Besides, we have many things to handle during the day. However, when I’m on stage, I forget that I’m Sola and if I am stressed for instance, I canalize all my emotions into the role, which makes the performance get better.
What would your future projects be?
I am currently filming a TV series for Ramadan and I would love to move forward in the theater field and get a new role after this one. At the same time, I work as a producer.
Which role would you like to play in the future that you think is challenging to you?
The role of a strong devilish woman as this part of character is far from what I am. I would like to surprise myself.
Any messages to talented people who love theater?
Knowing that I have a radio TV background and not a theater background, it’s the second play I’m into. I think that if you find the tool to release your talent, you will get there, so you need to work on yourself and you will definitely get there.
It’s all about energy and opportunities. I was helping in the production and out of a sudden I found myself in the play. I believe that if one has talent and loves theater, one should go for it. I hope that people would respect how much actors invest themselves in their performance. This is not a cinema, so they would better shut their phones down and listen…
*Interview conducted by Marie-Christine Tayah