Infinithéâtre is inviting members of the public across Canada to The Infinite Playwrights’ Chat Room to participate online in the development of a series of exciting new plays. Once a week, a different script of a work-in-progress from six Québec playwrights will be released. If the synopsis of the play intrigues you or you enjoy reading early work and being part of the process, they are looking for your input to help develop and write the next draft. The Infinite Playwrights’ Chat Room runs Thursdays, May 14-June 25.
This is a genuine dramaturgical process. If interested, people have ten days to read the play and think about feedback; any questions, observations and suggestions they’d like to offer. These comments from diverse readers help the writer make decisions about the next version. During a live Zoom session your suggestions will be put forth, providing the writer with fresh inspiration for their next phase of development.
As audience members, the general public is welcome to audit the event and add comments in a Q&A session. If you would like to participate live in the discussion with the playwright, moderator and other select creatives, just let Infinithéâtre know when you email your comments. You could then be invited as a guest into the room. The Chats can also be watched live on Infinithéâtre’s Facebook page.
From Guy Sprung, Infinithéâtre Artistic Director: “Times are dark for all of us, but for live theatre, the times are literally dark. Infinithéâtre is using this lockdown time to develop work for the future. Theatre will return and we will need inspired new plays; you can add your voice to the play-development process.”
Infinithéâtre is the sole theatre in Québec (in French or English) whose mission is to develop, promote, produce and broker only plays written or adapted by Québec and Indigenous Canadian writers.
Paul Van Dyck kicks things off with King of Canada (please see description below). After that, The Infinite Playwrights’ Chat Room will happen every Thursday at 5PM. Oren Safdie is up May 21 with Imminent Domain. Other writers to follow in future weeks are Marianne Ackerman, Alexandria Haber & Ned Cox, David Sherman, and Alice Abracen.
Synopsis: King of Canada
King of Canada is a meta-theatrical political comedy with two actors; a woman and a man. The man plays King and the woman plays everybody else; close to forty other characters including King’s mother, FDR, Churchill, Hitler and three Irish terriers named Pat. Though comedic on the surface, this irreverent and whimsical dramatization of the life of Prime Minister Mackenzie King asks audiences to reconsider the country we once had and the country we want to have.
Through vaudevillian charm and the art of the buffoon, King of Canada reveals how Canadian politics have often been (and still are) a balancing act between what should be done for the good of all and what is done to maintain power.
The play begins with a medium inviting the audience to take part in a séance. As the séance commences, a late arrival shows up to participate; Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. The séance continues with the medium embodying figures from King’s past to re-enact pivotal moments of his life, including his bizarre relationship with his mother, his rise to political power, his navigation of Canada through the Great Depression and World War II, and his own obsession with communicating with the dead.
As King’s peculiar life choices and questionable political impacts are revealed, it becomes clear that this is more than a séance; it is a trial of King’s legacy. With the audience taking on the role of adjudicators, King must defend the fate of his legacy and the fate of his soul.
About Paul Van Dyck
Paul is a writer, director, performer and artistic-director of Rabbit in a Hat Productions. He has received numerous awards for his productions including The Revelation Award (Montreal English Critics Circle), Outstanding Direction (Montreal English Theatre Awards) and Best Production (New York Frigid Festival, Atlantic Fringe, and Montreal Fringe). Selected playwriting credits include When Memories Have Us (Segal Centre for Performing Arts), Blood Wild (Next Stage Theatre Festival), Oroonoko and The Nisei & The Narnauks (MAI/Persephone Productions), Haunted (Hudson Village Theatre) and Paradise Lost (touring Canada, USA, and Scotland). Paul’s play, The Harvester, has been adapted into an opera with composer Aaron Gervais and his all-ages adaptation of Frankenstein, co-written with Rick Miller and Craig Francis, will be part of Geordie Theatre’s main stage production in 2021.
Infinithéâtre’s Infinite Playwrights’ Chat Room, #1
King of Canada by Paul Van Dyck, Thursday, May 14, 5PM
To register for the webinar: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vfrpajZ5SouT0KcAMvKKUw
Or watch live on Infinithéâtre’s Facebook page
To read King of Canada so you can offer your feedback, or for more information, contact: ATD@infinitheatre.com
Subsequent playwrights’ Zoom conversations every Thursday until June 25