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2018 SummerWorks Preview Questionnaire: The Private Life of the Master Race

9 Aug

Your name: Rouvan Silogix

Your production: The Private Life of the Master Race (a cabaret)

Your role: Producer + Performer

Tell me about your show.

Join us for a night at Das Kabarett as we explore a new adaptation of a Brecht classic. Delve into the deepest secrets and naughty desires of a numb population.

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

“History Doesn’t Repeat Itself; But It Does Rhyme”. A Surrealist Epic Musical encompassing times and events eerily similar to others, that bind and tie us– ultimately asking are we just born “human” or can we choose to define what it means to be “human”.

We live in ever-changing times (for better and for worse). What, in the artistic community, do you currently feel there is too much of, and too little of?

I think there are a lot of soft-positive initiatives for artists marginalized and drastically-underrepresented; but it’s just that. “Soft.” I think if we want to create the change we claim to want– we have to do things like Frances McDormand suggested upon winning her oscar– (I.e. she will not sign onto a film without a diversity rider). That and I’d love for there to be more Artistic Directors of venued companies in Toronto that are POCs, and indeed female POC. (Toronto sadly currently only has the 1).

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

Looking forward to seeing “The Negroes Are Congregating” and “Swim Team”!

2018 SummerWorks Preview Questionnaire: The Negroes Are Congregating

8 Aug

Your name: Natasha Adiyana Morris

Your production: The Negroes Are Congregating

Your role: Playwright & Director

Tell me about your show.

The Negroes Are Congregating is a personal and contemporary piece delving into the psyche of generational internalized racism. Delivered through a fusion of spoken word, satire, and soulful dialect, audiences will enter a realm of private truths and leave with an understanding of what it means to be Black, proud, and ready.

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

It’s called ZAMN: The Muscial.
Politically we’re in a sh*thole but ain’t nothing new under the sun, son. It can get worse but it can get better. ZAMN captures the unyielding heartbeat amidst chaos. Some call it blissful ignorance we can it survival.

We live in ever-changing times (for better and for worse). What, in the artistic community, do you currently feel there is too much of, and too little of?

I believe there are too little spaces owned AND operated by people who do not identify of being of European descent. Specifically facilities and venues. Do the research, it’s dismal.
I think there’s too much pretending. Pretending to champion diverse programming as long as it doesn’t rock the boat and fills funding quotas. Pretending to, beyond stumbling through a sheet of paper copied and pasted from the internet, acknowledge we’re on Indigenous land yet 99% of us have no idea about the tribes and/or histories we’re referencing (do the work before acting ‘woke’).

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

ZAYO by Esie Mensah – saw an excerpt a few months ago and would love to see the growth.
Third World by Diana Reyes.
The Red Horse is Leaving by Erika Batdorf.
I plan on watching at least 5 different productions.

2018 SummerWorks Preview Questionnaire: Body So Fluorescent

7 Aug

Your name: Amanda Cordner

Your production: Body So Fluorescent

Your role: Co-Creator and Performer

Tell me about your show.

​What happened last night on the dance floor? Two friends retrace their steps from the night before to figure out how it all ended in an explosive fight. In their effort to figure out last night’s facts, both friends shift from self to alter-ego, and along the way, are met with stunning revelations. BODY SO FLUORESCENT is an inviting, racy, and outrageous solo-show: asking difficult questions about Blackness, otherness, and oppression.

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

​Love Me, Kimmy J: The Musical

An old man falls in love with the dictator of another country. When the old man becomes president of his country, he is forced to choose between love or leadership.  A story of passion, betrayal and intrigue.

We live in ever-changing times (for better and for worse). What, in the artistic community, do you currently feel there is too much of, and too little of?

Too many attempts to just educate.
Too little attempts to entertain (AND educate).

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

The Negroes are Congregating
Winners and Losers
…And You’ll Never Believe What Happens Next

2018 SummerWorks Preview Questionnaire: …And You’ll Never Believe What Happens Next

7 Aug

Your name: Graham Isador

Your production: …And You’ll Never Believe What Happens Next

Your role: I wrote the thing and I’m performing it.

Tell me about your show.

The original intention for the piece was to make a greatest hits collection of stories I’ve performed/written for other places. Some of the content in the show has previously appeared at VICE, where I work occasionally. Others have been performed for the radio or on podcasts.

As my director Jiv Parasram and I started looking for a through line to the play we asked ourselves why some stories get told and others don’t. Why some stuff works. Why other stuff doesn’t. What gets popular?

What we noticed is that there are trends to the type of work I’ve done. The stuff that’s hit over 100k views/listens has usually been deeply personal and borderline maudlin. This show takes a look at why that is. It’s a comedy about how we document tragedy and how online culture exasperated that.

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

It’s a Philip Glass adaptation of The Lottery played through four hundred different phones that have been thrown out but still work fine.

We live in ever-changing times (for better and for worse). What, in the artistic community, do you currently feel there is too much of, and too little of?

I think there is too much irony and too few earnest conversations about what they believe. I most people have all chosen sides and those who haven’t find the whole exchange of ideas inaccessible or annoying.

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

Amanda Cordner is a joy to watch. I think she’s going to be a big deal in this community and I expect this Summerworks is when people figure that out. Also a huge shoutout to everyone doing a relaxed performance. Putting together those performances isn’t that hard if you’re committed to it and it’s huge for people who could benefit from that environment.

2018 SummerWorks Preview Questionnaire: The Red Horse is Leaving

5 Aug

Your name: Erika Batdorf

Your production: The Red Horse is Leaving

Your role: Playwright/Performer

Tell me about your show.

It’s a portrait of my mother, Thaya Whitten, a painter who toured Canada in the 60’s doing controversial performance art. Through the use of biosensors, this interactive theatrical two-hander explores the meeting point of madness and creativity.

I play a painter, in her studio struggling to paint. She struggles with mental illness and has hallucinations. One of them is a Gargoyle played by Zoe Sweet wearing a costume that has a spine that lights up based on my (the painters) heart beat and breathing. I am a bit of a cyborg; I wear some technology that you cannot see put together by an amazing team of art/scientists.

It’s a wild show, the audience gets to paint if they want and things go flying (if you come, you should duck).

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

A super cheesy musical called MILKWEED about the demise of civilization while secretly a butterfly population grows a whole new society; new rules, new laws, justice it’s main goal.

In the triumphant ending, concrete in Toronto is overtaken by grassy, flower lined mini butterfly sized bike lanes and butterflies take over the city, chasing the humans out to the suburbs.

Music by The Monarchs, directed by David Suzuki.

We live in ever-changing times (for better and for worse). What, in the artistic community, do you currently feel there is too much of, and too little of?

-A city that puts a ten year plan into place for arts audience development, so that the artists can spend more time making good art and less time marketing their own work.

-Too much fast art, I like well crafted work with levels and depth. How do we fund that? Risk works really well with knowledge, skill and experience, but that takes time.

-Too few Mom’s making art. I want to hear those voices. Artists are paid less than child care costs.

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

The Negro’s are Congregating… very excited to see this!

2018 SummerWorks Preview Questionnaire: A Girl Lives Alone

5 Aug

Your name: Jessica Moss

Your production: A Girl Lives Alone

Your role: Writer/Performer

Tell me about your show.

Marion moves to New York in the wake of a break-up and a murder takes place in her walk-up apartment building. As her life starts to feel like she’s trapped in a Hitchcock movie, or maybe a TV show where young girls get killed every week, Marion can’t stop listening to the old-timey suspense podcasts her ex made; and the lives of the other tenants, particularly the foley artist who lives upstairs, start to push in on her walls, making the dangers of being a girl living alone seem more and more prevalent. Does living close to others keep us safe, or put us in danger? And can you keep it down up there? An ensemble comedy and a mash-up of Hitchcock, radio horror, and Law and Order SVU about murder, fear, and how well you really know your neighbours.

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

It’s called ‘Way Up Here’, and it’s about a gay scientist and an under-achieving girl whose mum just died. They team up to build a machine that can contact aliens in Sudbury, Ontario and hijack the city’s money to do so.

This is actually just the musical I’ve been trying to write for the past little bit. Maybe it has nothing to with 2018, but I think we need to see more shows that talk about things like loving each other, understanding people who are different, how hard it is to listen, how scary the world is, in particularly dark times: and I believe we are in particularly, terribly dark times. There’s something really subversive about radical entertainment out for a good time, and narratives that focus on kindness and truth right now.

We live in ever-changing times (for better and for worse). What, in the artistic community, do you currently feel there is too much of, and too little of?

I’d like to see less:

Training that focuses on ‘breaking people down’ without ever getting around to ‘building them back up’.
Desire to appease subscribers.
People working with the same people on the same kind of plays.
Mandate driven theatres
Letter grading of plays (please buzz off)
Dramaturgy that’s about ‘fixing’ plays or turning them into things that more closely resemble plays we have already seen
Sets that revolve around couches
Acceptance of cruelty as something we need to make work better
Writing that depends on characters being dumb
People who have never written plays being on juries that determine what plays get money and which plays are the good plays
Four hander plays being the ‘big cast’ play
Political theatre that doesn’t say anything controversial and lets us think that we have done a good thing just by going and agreeing with the play, even though the play said nothing

I’d like to see more:

Empathy
Risk
Truth
TRUTH
Like a completely radical and surprising commitment to truth, actual truth, not what you THINK is true, what actually is true.
Rehearsal time
Affordable and adequate rehearsal spaces – seriously, what are we going to do about this? If I host a meeting about this, will people come?
Women and people of colour in leadership positions in established theatres
Term limits for artistic directors (8 years seems sufficient)
Long-form responses to plays instead of critiques
Comedies that are actually funny
Free tickets offered to playwrights and artists
Free tickets offered to everybody
Direct social engagement from theatres in terms of audiences and also community outreach
Dancing from people who have been told they can’t dance
Singing in groups
Diversity on stages, including body diversity
Women of colour directing plays
Support for playwrights to find their voices, not become new versions of pre-existing playwrights
Drinking alcohol in theatres
Child care for theatre workers with small children and support for pregnant women and women with young children
Roles written for women over 50, especially roles that let them tell jokes, have sex, set things on fire, make mistakes, be angry, and have the last word
Comfortable theatre lobbies that let people come work there without buying things, but that also have cookies and beverages available for purchase
Established professionals and critics from major newspapers going to fringe shows
Inclusion
And there’s not enough safety in most rehearsal rooms, and not enough danger on most stages.

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

I have watched every video that Rock Bottom Movement has on their website, and I think I am their biggest fan, so fantasylover. Seriously, Alyssa Martin is a genius.

Daniel Krolik and Hume Baugh are two of the best actors in Toronto, and they are in an amazing cast of similarly gifted humans in Box 4901 (including Michael Hughes, who I really want to write for).

The Extinction of Hong Kongers looks wicked.

Shira Leuchter is a treasure, so ‘Lost Together’.

I think Esther Jun is so smart, and I always love a Brecht play, so ‘The Private Life of the Master Race’.

2018 Toronto Fringe Preview Questionnaire: One Left Hour – The Life and Work of Daniil Kharms

5 Jul

Your name: Alexander Offord

Your production: One Left Hour: The Life and Work of Daniil Kharms

Your role: Performer/Dramaturg

Tell me about your show.

“One Left Hour” is a multimedia theatrical pageant that uses music, puppetry, choreography, free association, improvisation, clown, and performance art to stage and interrogate the life and work of the Stalinist-era surrealist writer, Daniil Kharms. The show charts the trajectory of his life from birth, to the founder of an avant-garde performance collective, to this eventual death by starvation in a a Soviet insane asylum. Along the way, we ask some probing questions about how we make meaning of art – and how we make meaning of life.

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

“America is Great Again”

Lin-Manuel has been tasked by the revolutionary government to compose music to celebrate the execution via guillotine of Donald Trump, but his muse has left him! When a slick-talking former Canadian Prime Minister with perfectly coiffed hair shows up at his door and presents Lin-Manuel with an offer he can’t refuse, the composer isn’t sure if it’s a Trudeau he’s dealing with or the devil himself! Throw in a trans antifa love interest who may or may not be the revolution’s secret leader, and what you’ve got is a fun-filled romp through the end of late-stage capitalism!

It’s not “ha ha” funny.

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

So many to name, and we will almost certainly leave some amazing ones out, but off the top of our heads in no particular order:

“The Makeover Show,” by Avalonstorm
“Flooded” by North America
“Final Exam” by Holy Cow Entertainment
“Featherweight” by Theatre Brouhaha
“First Dates” by Clutch Performance Theatre Co.
“Rage Against the Inferno” by Theatre ARTaud and Filament Incubator
“Carmilla” by Pointed Cap Playhose

2018 Toronto Fringe Preview Questionnaire: THE PREPOSTEROUS PREDICAMENT OF POLLY PEEL (ACT 1)

3 Jul

Your name: Kevin Wong, Julie Tepperman, Aaron Willis

Your production: THE PREPOSTEROUS PREDICAMENT OF POLLY PEEL (ACT 1)

Your role: Composer/ Lyricist (Kevin), Playwright / Bookwriter (Julie), Director / Dramaturg (Aaron)

Tell me about your show.

‘… Polly Peel (Act 1)’ explores a family grappling with death through the eyes and imagination of a biology-obsessed eleven-year-old girl. Originally inspired by acclaimed Canadian painter Paul Peel’s ‘The Young Biologist’, an early incarnation was presented in 2016 at the AGO as part of The Musical Stage Company’s ‘Reframed’.

Featuring a moving story, a funny and poignant musical score, and some of Canada’s top musical theatre talent, ‘… Polly Peel (Act 1)’ showcases a rare in-development look at a new Canadian musical. Frogs. Family. Forgiveness. RIBBIT! Winner of the 2018 Paul O’Sullivan Prize for Musical Theatre.

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

Kevin: “Covfefe’s Darkest Timeline: The Musical?” – A site specific piece set in an ever darkening room in which voices all around you sing you into numbness.

Julie:  “Since When Is It Okay To Separate Parents And Children?: the musical” – A site-specific piece set in an ever darkening room in which voices all around you SCREAM you into numbness.

Aaron: COLLUSION: THE MUSICAL – A crew of plucky, tap dancing FBI agents reveal all the secrets we’ve ever wanted to know through the sheer power of their song.

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

Kevin: THE LAST PARTY – A fantastic creative team and cast all around. Cannot wait! ONE SMALL STEP – Anika Johnson and Barb Johnston write amazing earworms, and the cast features the incredible Kelsey Verzotti and Georgia Bennett!

Julie: Morro and Jasp!!!

Aaron:  HOW TO BE FEARLESS WITH ROXY ROBERTS. Written by and starring the amazing Ali Joy Richardson!

2018 Toronto Fringe Preview Questionnaire: Lighters in the Air

3 Jul

Your name: Victoria Laberge

Your production: Lighters in the Air

Your role: Publicist

Tell me about your show.

Lighters In The Air is a new indie rock musical running at the Monarch Tavern, featuring special guest performers every night. A musician named Leo returns to his former hangout, The Empty, a dive bar where the mic is always open. With the help of old friends, a lost love, and The Empty’s newest off-beat barflies, Leo rediscovers his passion for the music he left behind.

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

What Now? 2018 has thrown us some curveballs. How can we use art to change the world and create a better future?

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

Sex T-Rex are always hilarious (in my completely biased opinion, since I do their publicity too) – don’t miss their improvised D&D Live! We’re also really looking forward to The Climb by Duane Forrest, who joins us at the Monarch for our guest spot on July 14th; and The Princess of the Tower at Fringe Kidsfest, stage managed by Lighters SM extraordinaire Laura Moniz!

2018 Toronto Fringe Preview Questionnaire: The Ties That Bind And Gag

3 Jul

Your name: Juliet Paperny

Your production: The Ties That Bind and Gag

Your role: Director/Producer

Tell me about your show.

Three generations of a tight-knit family cram into a rental car to drive to a funeral. Neuroses collide, emotions run high, grievances are aired and over-shared, traffic laws are broken.

Buckle up and spend some claustrophobic quality time on a guilt-trip road trip with your nearest and dearest – the people you love and can’t stand or just can’t understand. The ensuing drama’s funny because it’s true and hilarious because it’s heartbreaking.

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

This year has been bleak to say the least. Our creative vision at Poor Life Choices Productions is to intercut the tough times in life with complete absurdity. It is for this reason that I would propose Sweeney RBG: The Saviour Barber of DC. It features the one and only Ruth Bader Ginsberg, taking down all the miscreants that have wronged her and the rest of the world. Would obviously star Helena Bonham Carter. I can’t say Trump, Pence or Coulter would be that tasty in a pie but Donald Jr. on the other hand….

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

Entrances and Exits – can’t miss a Bad Dog Comedy Theatre performance. Also performing at Factory Theatre so do a back-to-back performance with ours and this one.  The Grass is Greenest at the Houston Astrodome – Site specific performance about artists in a small gallery on Queen St. West. Great cast and a fellow dark comedy. Sex T-Rex’s D&D Live: It’s improv and an opportunity to completely nerd out, and Sex T-Rex never disappoints. Need I say more?

2018 Toronto Fringe Preview Questionnaire: Anywhere

3 Jul

Your name: Michael Ross Albert

Your production: Anywhere and The Grass is Greenest at the Houston Astrodome

Your role: Playwright (and co-producer of Anywhere)

Tell me about your show.

Anywhere is a new drama that begins when a young businesswoman returns to her AirBnB to find that her host, a vodka-toting single mom, is waiting up for her. What starts as a cordial relationship between two strangers steadily escalates into a tense, life-altering confrontation.

The Grass is Greenest at the Houston Astrodome is a play that premiered in the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival, and is included in “Best American Short Plays 2014-2015.” It’s a comedy about a group of struggling visual artists at a struggling art gallery, wrestling with creative frustrations, identity crises, sexual entanglements, and general urban millennial ennui.

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

The musical is called Jared and Ivanka Sit Shiva. It’s an absurdist comedy about a very wealthy couple observing traditional Jewish mourning customs for a deceased megalomaniac family patriarch. As the couple sits shiva with their extended family at a golf course in Florida, they are forced to face their own complicity in the dead man’s wrongdoings– actions that have led to large scale unhappiness and unrest. Over the course of the week, secrets are revealed, songs are sung, marriages disintegrate, families are reunited, and we, the audience, will collectively mourn the loss of society’s sanity, while looking forward hopefully to a time of healing.

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

I have a very long list of shows that I want to see, and really hope I can make it out to all of them. They are: Prank by Daniel Pagett; Cheri, which stars the formidable Theresa Tova; Enjoy the Hostilities created by Robin Black and Graham Isador; The Howland Company and Bad Dog Theatre’s Entrances and Exits; Ciaran Meyers’ Hamburger; Wes Berger’s First Dates; Rachel Ganz’s The Queen’s Eulogy; Crave by Sarah Kane, featuring the great Wayne Burns; Police Cops in Space; Space Hippo; Briana Brown’s Robert; Natalie Frijia’s Bikeface; and Theatre Brouhaha’s Featherweight by Tom McGee

2018 Toronto Fringe Preview Questionnaire: PRTNR

3 Jul

Credit: Dahlia Katz

Your name: Natalie Kulesza

Your production: PRTNR

Your role: Co-Creator & Performer (along side David Rowan!)

Tell me about your show.

Basically it is a sketch com show about Partnership in all it’s different forms… So, you know, it’s gonna be GOOD (because who doesn’t love putting things under a microscope and seeing what wild ideas you can come with)

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

Keep Your Hands to Yourself and while you’re at it Clean Up my Water. A romp through Patriarchy and the right to clean drinking water…. all in one show (Dance numbers & free protest signs included!)

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

Great question! I’m just getting started on my planning!… Text me in 48 hrs and I will let you know… (GAWD. So many talented & creative peeps in the GD city…!!!) (Though, first that cross my mind are Robert & We the Men)

2018 Toronto Fringe Preview Questionnaire: Prank

2 Jul

Credit: Matthew Sarookanian

Your name: Christel Bartelse

Your production: Prank

Your role: Performer and Producer

Tell me about your show.

Prank is the new dark comedy from playwright and director Danny Pagett (Cloud, Homewrecker). Two daughters of internet celebrities struggle with the legacy left from them, running both towards- and away from from their own turn in the spotlight. It is loosely based on the true story of DaddyOfFive- a real life youtuber who had their children taken away last year when people who had seen their videos accused them of child abuse. Prank explores the dangers of desperately seeking fame at any cost, and how over the top online behavior can be downfall. Starring Christel Bartelse and Cydney Penner, and produced by Thundermind Theatre and DutchGirl Productions (ONEymoon, Chaotica, All KIDding Aside)

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

DON’T Come From Away – the remarkable true story about the Trump administration

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

So much to see. I’m a huge Michael Ross Albert fan, so looking forward to “The Grass is Greenest at the Houston Astrodome” and “Anywhere” Also have yet to see The Merkin Sisters which I hear is fabulous and big Rob Gee fan who is a brilliant Brit. We’re also part of #fringefriends so seeing all those shows on that list “Robert”, “Josephine” “One Small Step” “Upstream Downtown” “PRTNR” and “How to be Fearless!”

2018 Toronto Fringe Preview Questionnaire: The Grass Is Greenest at the Houston Astrodome

2 Jul

Your name: Lauren MacKinlay

Your production: The Grass Is Greenest at the Houston Astrodome

Your role: Performer/Producer

Tell me about your show.

When a painter tears the artwork off the walls of a struggling independent gallery, the relationships between a group of emerging artists are also torn apart. In the chaotic aftermath that ensues, the underachieving artists grapple with their insecurities, infidelities, and their innate jealousy of one another.

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

We’re living in depressing times, so I’d be inclined to put forward a much needed respite from the madness and melodic ray of sunshine in the form of “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion: The Musical.” Ideally, all the music in the show would be Cyndi Lauper tunes. I should actually find some way of copyrighting this idea…

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

Lark and Whimsy’s “Robert” – they’re an incredible team and I’ll never pass up a bagpipe. Also, our playwright Michael Ross Albert has another show in the Fringe: “Anywhere.” As a huge fan of his writing, that one’s unmissable for me.

2018 Toronto Fringe Preview Questionnaire: BikeFace

2 Jul

Credit: Hayley Andoff

Your name: Clare Blackwood

Your production: BikeFace

Your role: Performer

Tell me about your show.

During the Victorian era bicycle craze, doctors warned women riders they would undoubtedly cultivate “bicycle faces”: becoming over-exerted, wild-eyed, un-sexed vulgarities, when faced with nothing before them but the wide, open road. A hundred years later, the story of BikeFace takes off. It’s a one-woman whirlwind retracing a real-life bicycle adventure across Canada, challenging the outdated gender stereotype. Filled with strange-but-true tales of Wild West proprietors, haunted graveyards, and secrets only fit for strangers, BikeFace will tickle your funnybone but, above all else, will ignite your thirst for adventure! (5 STARS -Vue Weekly; 4 STARS -Global News).

On a personal note: I ride a bike in a hoodie for a large portion of the show, so if you’ve ever wanted to see how sweaty a human being can possibly get while onstage, YOU’RE IN LUCK, FRIEND.

You’ve been commissioned to write a musical about the events of 2018 so far. What is it called, and what’s your elevator pitch?

Yup, We’re Doomed: An Immersive Journey

Picture this, if you will: the curtain rises to the sound of wailing. Just, like, from everyone. The actors, the techs, the director, the stage manager, and, because they have been politely prompted to by the program’s Director’s Note, the audience. Everyone is sobbing and screaming and beating their chests and throwing things and it is VERY DRAMATIC. Somewhere in the distance, and we’re not entirely sure where they’ll come from yet, there are sirens. This will form the majority of the musical’s soundtrack. Where’s the subtlety, we can already hear you asking? ASK 2018, WHY DON’T YOU.

A white man dressed as an actual cheeto steps onto the stage and begins a carefully-curated PowerPoint presentation on how White Privilege is a Fake News Liberal Myth, and then will try to steal audience member’s children away from them until he is chased off the stage and symbolically murdered by a group of multicultural interpretive dancers. There is an excessive use of red streamers in this last part, probably, if it’s in the budget. Audiences love streamers.

The rest of the show is a non-stop barrage of the actors screaming real headlines from news outlets that have aired this year (this can be updated daily, to keep the musical topical), and occasionally we’ll throw in a song or two set to the most depressing instrumental accompaniment our composer has managed to throw together after his nightly whiskey binges. The band will consist of an oboe and fifteen cellos.

Basically it’s probably going to be the Come From Away of 2018.

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

SO MANY. Filament’s Rage Against Trilogy, TallBoyz II Men’s A 6IX NNNNNN Review, Ashley With a “Y”, Featherweight, Generally Hospital, Moonstruck, Prank- and, in a completely predictable turn of events if you’ve literally ever spoken to me before in your entire life, Sex T-Rex’s D&D Live! It combines my favourite things ever: Sex T-Rex, Dungeons & Dragons, and improv. WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT WITH YOUR LIFE.