Write Now on the buses

Alum’s NPD gang took us on a trip for Write Now this year – the theme: the TTC.

This year’s line-up included nine plays and featured a whole lotta Alum playwrights, directors and actors. The playwrights received their theme challenge via e-mail on the evening of Oct 15 and they had 48 hours to submit a 10-minute piece. Organizers then matched each play up with a director, then directors assembled a cast and rehearsed during the week (usually one quick rehearsal on a weeknight or the day before reading – and, in some cases, the morning on the day).

There were no program notes, so actors were announced before or after each piece. I’ll try to recall our Alum actors as best as I can here:  Rosemary Doyle, Chantale Groulx, Pat Hawk, Tabitha Keast, Seema Lakhani, Kat Leonard, Lynne Patterson, Brenda Somers, Molly Thom and Joanne Williams. Also: Claire Blackwood (Joanne Williams’ castmate from The Whores at the Toronto Fringe), Cameron Johnston (who worked with Tabitha and Seema in You Are Here) and our own actor/composer/sound designer Rick Jones (who, for the first time that most of us had seen, played a drunken bastard – and did a very convincing job too).

The program offered a range of drama, comedy and a combo of the two; everything from thoughtful (and sometimes hysterical) conversations to an encounter between a passenger and a self-appointed TTC etiquette police fairy. Stand-outs for me – for a nice blend of comedy and poignancy – were Crossword Puzzles, On the Number 62 and From Here to There – and Back Again.

Here’s the complete list of the 10-minute plays that were presented this year, along with the playwrights and directors:

Rosemary Doyle: FROM HERE TO THERE—AND BACK AGAIN, director Barbara Larose
Catherine Frid: UNDER CONSTRUCTION, director Pat McCarthy
Kelsey Blair: TWENTY, director Annie MacMillan
Kate Bowen: CROSSWORD PUZZLES, director Pat McCarthy
Marianne Fedunkiw: WHERE DO YOU GET OFF?, director Laurie Williams
Annie MacMillan: EVENING OUT, director Rosemary Doyle
Colleen Marlin: ON THE NUMBER 62, director Joanne Williams
Norma Crawford: UNDERSTANDING, director Anne Harper 
Pat Lansche: ADVANCES, director Barbara Larose

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