I’m involved (head over heels, cloud nine, love sick, all of it) with theatre for three reasons.
The first is that theatre transforms everyone. It transforms the writer, the director, the cast, the crew, and the audience. That’s why we go. Because we’re all aching to be transformed.
Live and In Your Face
Second, theatre is great stories happening within spitting distance of your face, your mind, and your heart if you’ve picked the right seats. Lots of it is imperfect (no eight takes, no editing), all of it is thrilling. It’s a tightrope walk every night. And every night you’re seeing something that didn’t happen last night and won’t happen tomorrow night. I’m ecstatic just thinking about it.
The third reason is that I’ve learned more about how to live my life from theatre than from anywhere else. Some examples?
- Commit to the words coming out of your mouth, or no one will hear you.
- Thank the people who support you (organize your props, your costumes, your lights, your cues, etc.) or you’ll be a lousy one-woman show for the rest of your life.
- Respect your audience. They’re smart, curious, and eager to be transformed (see reason #1)
- You are only effective as an actor to the degree that you are completely present in this moment.
- I can only play a human being that I can understand. So I’d better be able to identify with all human beings.
What I’ve done in theatre
- I’ve been acting for twenty years.
- At some point I started writing. In 2007 I won the Canadian Samuel French Playwright’s contest for a play called $38,000 For a Friendly Face. Check it out. It has been produced both professionally and in community theatres in Canada and the U.S.
- My second play, Hope Op, has had two productions and has been workshopped by Pat The Dog Theatre Creation.
- My third play, Curved, was written with the much appreciated assistance of the Theatre Creators’ Reserve, a branch of the Ontario Arts Council. It has been workshopped with Pat The Dog at the Play Smelter in Sudbury, Ontario. It’s first production is going on in November, 2015.
- My fourth play, which may be called Till Death Do Us Start, is in its first draft, which means I shouldn’t be talking to you about it out loud.
And what about you, you ask?
Well, go to the theatre. Recommend drama classes to your kids. Tell them that they can still play when they grow up. Better still, show them. Take an improv class. Volunteer at your local theatre. Be transformed.