Mark Crawford is a playwright and actor.
His play “The Birds and the Bees,” which premiered in 2016 at the Blyth Festival and quickly became one of the most-produced Canadian plays of the decade, is now on stage at the Huron Country Playhouse II, running until Sept. 1.
In our interview we discuss the inspiration for writing the play and how working with actors in the rehearsals helped him “find the funny.”
Crawford, who grew up on a farm in Glencoe, ON. says that he didn’t watch much television in his youth, but has many fond memories of attending theatre at Huron Country Playhouse.
As well as sharing the secrets behind his writing process Crawford acknowledges the impact of production budgets on his artistic process.
He shares one of the best ever audition stories that changed his life but not in the way you’d think.
We discuss how he created his first play and the very first time he did a table read with actors.
Follow Mark on Twitter: @markjdcrawford
The Birds and The Bees
Aug 15 to Sept 1
Huron Country Playhouse II
Grand Bend, ON
Box Office: 1-855-372-9866
Details and tickets online.
Mark’s literary agent: Marquis Literary:
Ontraio Arts Council – Grants
Podcast with Nora McLellan
Mark’s other plays currently on stage:
“Bed and Breakfast” at Soulpepper until September 2.
“The New Canadian Curling Club” has been extended at the Blyth Festival, Sept. 18 – 21
Gil Garratt is the artistic director of the Blyth Festival.
In the podcast we discuss the first time Garratt auditioned for the Blyth Festival. The director Paul Thompson invited Garratt to meet a a coffee shop, but the audition took place at a surprising location miles away. It was an audition unlike any other, one that Garratt will never forget.
In our conversation Garratt shares his progressive thoughts on the Canadian dramaturgical and development process, adding that working on comedies can be the most divisive of all genres. “I have witnessed, in the rehearsal of comedy, more relationships destroyed, friendships obliterated over the course of the comedy, than I have working in tragedy.
We also delve into Garrat’s development work, examining the process behind brining Mark Crawford’s hit comedy “The Birds and The Bees” to the stage.
Since debuting at The Blyth Festival “The Birds and the Bees” has gone on to be performed at several theatres across Canada.
Naturally we look at the upcoming season at the Blyth Festival, with detailed descriptions on the background of each production.
Garratt graduated from the National Theatre School’s Playwriting Program and holds an Honours BA from the University of Waterloo, and an MA from the University of Guelph.
The Blyth Festival
“The Birds and the Bees” at Victoria Plahouse Petrolia.
New York Times – The Pigeon King and the Ponzi Scheme That Shook Canada
Robert Chafe is an award winning playwright whose work has been seen across Canada, the UK, and Australia.
He was just nominated in the drama category of the 2017 The Governor General’s Literary Awards, for his adaption of Wayne Johnston’s novel, “The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, into a stage play.
Two of Chafe’s plays (“Tempting Providence” and “Butler’s Marsh”), were shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Drama. His play “Afterimage” won the award in 2010.
Robert is Artistic Director and playwright for Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, where he frequently collaborates with NAC English Theatre Artistic Director Jillian Keiley.
In the podcast we discuss his transition from playwriting to writing a collection of short stories.
Robert shares his experience seeing his plays on stage and watching the audiences’ reaction to them.
He mentions that observing audiences has lead him to understand that “how I feel about my work actually has nothing to do with how an audience is going to experience it.”
Robert’s collection of short stories “Two-Man Tent” on Amazon.
Robert Chafe on Twitter.
Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland’s website.