Writer to Writer – Red Earth writers interview each other
1. I should probably preface this with ‘for better or for worse’ but… what has occurred in the voice of your writing as a result of the many collaborative sources contributing to this project?
I collaborate a lot, so I’m used to modifying my writing voice in playing with other voices – a bit more like playing in a jazz band than a choir, I guess. There’s room for soloing but lots of the playing time is supporting the other players. In Red Earth, I’ve never been so aware while we were writing just how equally present the other artist’s voices were all going to be in the process and the final product – all the artists would be playing forward into the space normally taken up by the the writers, actors, and director.
As a graphic novel on stage, Gregory’s projected drawings are going to speak at least as loudly as the scripted words and actions, probably louder. Daina’s voice as the set designer creating a physical platform that allows the actors to perform within a graphic novel page speaks at least as loudly as the actors or the words. The role of Jamez’s music and soundscape and Itai’s lighting are going to be enormous in creating this world – I’m certain I’ve never worked on a project where the sound and light will be consistently demanded to play a starring role in the storytelling. Which for our writing I think has meant we don’t have to carry the storytelling ball all the time – halfway through rehearsals now we’ve we’ve probably cut 30% of the words out of the script that have been better handled by other ways of telling the story.
I joined this project a year ago because it looked like the most fun I could ever have and still be writing. This far in, it’s never disappointed.
2. So Rick Chafe is walking on Mars, and his foot catches some object, and he trips and falls. He digs the object out, dusts the martian dust off of it and, no… it can’t be… it’s not possible…it’s:
For better and worse, it’s a memory. Always a memory.
Rick Chafe: Bio
Rick has been collaborating to make plays since grade two – most recently with best friends Yvette Nolan on Both Alike in Dignity for PTE, Danny Schur on the soon-to-be-released movie Stand! and the completely re-invented musical Strike! (opening in June at Rainbow Stage), Kristian Jordan and a dozen other artists on Red Earth, and Andraea Sartison on Five Moments (commissioned by Theatre Projects Manitoba) and on co-facilitating the Creators Unit at MTYP. Other plays include GG Finalist The Secret Mask (PTE), Marriage: A Demolition in Two Acts (PTE, and published by Playwrights Canada Press this summer), Shakespeare’s Dog (RMTC/NAC), Beowulf (Two Planks and a Passion), The Last Man and Woman on Earth (TPM), and The Odyssey (Shakespeare in the Ruins).
1.Okay. What’s your history with comics, novels, graphic novels, or movies in the sci-fi genre and did any of it influence your approach to the story? Is there more sci fi writing in your future?
In the final year of my degree I realized I still needed a class worth of credit hours that couldn’t be theatre-based, but could be anything else. So, naturally, I found a class on science fiction. It was in that time that I began to look at sci-fi as a tool in writing, rather than a vehicle for lightsaber duels. What I love about sci-fi is how it immediately alienates us, but in the struggle to place ourselves in its strange new circumstances, we find some sort of recognition. I loved bringing that to theatre. There will for sure be more in my future. A long dead pianist wakes up in the future?!?
2. What would it take to get to you to Mars? Besides a spaceship. Would you be ready volunteer or the last to leave Earth kicking and screaming?
This is a tough one, because whether it’s by choice or necessity, everything you might gain would ultimately be defined by what you lost. I like watching our characters grapple with that. But as for me, it definitely wouldn’t be kicking and screaming. Honestly, I think the bike paths would just have to be better than they are here.
Kristian Jordan Bio
Kristian Jordan is a Winnipeg-based performer/playwright/creator, and a graduate of the University of Winnipeg honours program for performance. As an actor he has worked for a number of professional stages across the city, including the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, and Manitoba Theatre for Young People, Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, Shakespeare in the Ruins, and has had the opportunity to perform in schools and communities across Northern Manitoba and Ontario on five regional tours. He recently appeared as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (SIR), Peter in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (MTYP) and Wilf in Prairie Nurse (PTE). He is a member of the Emerging Playwrights Unit with Prairie Theatre Exchange and the Manitoba Association of Playwrights. As a founding member of the company Make/Shift Theatre, he has collaborated on a variety of projects including a production of his original script, Lantern Town (2016) and the forthcoming The Party: A Scientific Romance. He is a frequent collaborator with One Trunk Theatre, most recently as co-playwright on Red Earth with playwright Rick Chafe. He also makes coffee.