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.
- I’ve won some lovely awards for that acting.
- 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.
- My second play, Hope Op, was produced for the first time in the fall of 2013 in North Bay, ON. Hope Op will be further workshopped as a part of something called a Play Smelter in Sudbury, ON, this summer.
- My third play, which may end up being called Saving Wavy, is being written with the much appreciated assistance of the Theatre Creators’ Reserve, a branch of the Ontario Arts Council.
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.