Tag Archives: Fringe

Writers Irene Sankoff & David Hein, Come From Away

Episode 67 March 29, 2017

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Come-From-Away_card

Irene Sankoff and David Hein, the co-writers of the hit Broadway show “Come From Away,” are my guests on this podcast.

Irene and David, went from producing a playful musical at the Toronto Fringe Festival to creating “Come From Away.”

Their Fringe show, “My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding,” attracted the attention of producer David Mirvish who brought it from the Fringe to a larger theatre.

Mirvish also discovered “The Drowsy Chaperone” at the Toronto Fringe, so the pressure for “Wiccan Wedding” to succeed was high. Things went well with that production and soon they were working on “Come From Away.”

“Come From Away” is a musical set in the town of Gander, Newfoundland, in the week following the September 11 attacks, when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town.

The people of Gander opened their homes and their hearts to the thousands of travelers, from all over the world, who were stranded.

Come From Away, Irene Sankoff and David Hein, podcast

In the podcast Irene and David explain how their creative process began with a trip to Gander, Newfoundland to interview the town’s people and collect true stories that became the foundation for the musical.

They explain the development process, that included meaningful workshops with theatre students at The Canadian Music Theatre Project, at Sheridan College, and Goodspeed Musicals a non-profit organization dedicated to musical theater based in Connecticut.

The students at both locations worked on the script and Irene & David discuss how significant this process was to shaping the show.

 

In the podcast we talk about the sweet spot between David’s love of folk music and Irene’s love of Broadway musicals.

This intersection is reflected in NPR’s “First Listen” review of the “Come From Away Original Broadway Cast Recording:”
“While the rock influences (or at least the Broadway-rock influences) of “Come From Away” make it feel firmly like a modern piece, there is an echo in the story of classic American musical theater – specifically, “Brigadoon.”

Click for the “Come From Away,” Original Broadway Cast Recording

Come From Away original cast recording

On opening night Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau attended the show and met with Irene and David.

Irene Sankoff and David Hein, come from away, justin trudeau

Click the arrow near the top of this page, or this iTunes link, to listen to this podcast about “Come From Away.”

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Show Notes
Irene Sankoff and David Hein on Twitter.
Come From Away’s website for tickets, vdieos, etc.
Come From Away on Twitter.
Sheridan College Music Theatre Performance Program.
Goodspeed Musicals.
Washington Post article mentioning Trump’s decision not to attend opening night.
The Grand Theatre Gala with special guest Michael Rubinoff.
Review of “My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish-Wiccan Wedding” at the Toronto Fringe.
About Mirvish Productions
The Toronto Fringe.
Irene and David “A Love Story Times Two” by J. Kelly Nestruck.
“Come From Away” Original Broadway Cast Recording.

Writer, actor: Ins Choi remastered

Episode 58 - October 10, 2016

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Ins_Card

This is a special 20 minute episode to coincide with the CBC TV debut of “Kim’s Convenience,” a new TV show based on the play of the same name by Ins Choi.

“Kim’s Convenience” had its debut performance at the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival, at the Bathurst St. Theatre, where Ins both directed and acted.

As a former Fringe Festival performer myself, the fact that “Kim’s Convenience” has gone on to such great success is inspiring….and I really hope that this interview will inspire you too.

”Kim’s Convenience” follows in the footsteps of Fringe Festival shows like “Da Kink in My Hair,” “Machomer,” “The Drowsy Chaperone” and others that have gone onto great things.

I’ve edited an interview I did with Ins in January 2013. It was recorded at the first run of “Kim’s Convenience” outside of Toronto at the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario.

In our interview we talk about the time in his life when Ins gave up a job with security, benefits and a housing allowance….everything that would have set him up for a traditional life…but it wasn’t a job in the Arts and Ins knew he wanted a life in the Arts.

We also talk about his time onstage, acting at The Stratford Festival and backstage where he was writing Kim’s Convenience

If you’re a regular listener to the podcast you know I have a 10 year old son and I’m always curious about how family influences the creative voice….so Ins and I start out by talking about his Father who was a pastor and the impact that had on Ins when he was young.

Show Notes
Soulpepper
Toronto Fringe
fu-GEN Asian Canadian theatre Company
The Stratford Festival
Kim’s Convenience at CBC TV

Nicky Guadagni: Actor, playwright

Episode 54 - May 13, 2016

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Nicky Guadagni, podcast, interview, hookedNicky Guadagni has been nominated for five Gemini awards and won two for her roles in “Major Crime” and “Blue Murder.”

Her one woman show “Hooked” started as a private performance in people’s home and eventually made its way to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh.

“Hooked” won the SpringWorks’ 2016 People’s Choice Award.

In the podcast we talk about acting, producing at festivals, her training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and of course our lives as parents.

I don’t know what part of our conversation I enjoyed most: Learning about her youth in Montreal, the creative process behind her hit show “Hooked,” or how she and her husband dealt with their teen aged son who spent way too much time playing video games, and online poker, but then turned that into a career.

Show Notes
Hooked The Play
Sweeney Todd at The Shaw Festival with Nicky’s daughter Tess Benger in the ensemble.
Griffin Benger, Nicky’s son & poker player/commentator on Twitter
“First Person Shooter” documentary film from Cogent Benger Productions
Improvisation instructor Kate Ashby
Donna Eden Energy Systems
“Hooked” at the SpringWorks Festival in Stratford.

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