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The Inadequate Life a podcast about the creative process
42 minutes | May 24, 2017
Director, playwright, artistic director Gil Garratt
Gil Garratt is the artistic director at the Blyth Festival, which focuses on new play development and work with rural themes. Plays developed at Blyth have been produced around the world, which is impressive especially considering Blyth is a rural town of 1,000 people. 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. 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.
40 minutes | May 8, 2017
Theatre Producer Michael Rubinoff
Michael Rubinoff is the Associate Dean of Sheridan College’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts. He’s also the creator and a producer of the Broadway hit musical "Come From Away." If you have ever wondered how an idea becomes a Broadway show you’ll love this episode. We start out by talking about Michael’s time studying law at the University of Western Ontario and then move into the process behind developing his idea for a musical into a Broadway hit.
38 minutes | Apr 24, 2017
Screenwriter Ken Cuperus
Ken Cuperus is an award winning screenwriter and producer. We met decades ago when Ken approached me after a performance at the Winnipeg Fringe festival, asking if I'd help his comedy troupe. A few years later Ken and his pals, known as the Brave New Weasels, were performing to sold out crowds at Fringe Festivals. We talk about the gutsy move to leave the comfort of being a big finish in a small pond, Winnipeg, to start with nothing more than one month's rent in Toronto. We also touch on working with Gene Simmons and Ken's worst pitch meeting.
59 minutes | Apr 9, 2017
Playwright, Robert Chafe
Robert Chafe is an award winning playwright whose work has been seen across Canada, the UK, and Australia. Two of his 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."
37 minutes | Mar 29, 2017
Writers Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away
Irene Sankoff and David Hein are the co-writers of the hit Broadway show "Come From Away." It's the hit 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 show has been getting fabulous reviews. We talk about how Irene and David interviewed people to create the foundation for the musical. They explain the development process, with theatre students at The Canadian Music Theatre Project which is part of the Sheridan College Music Theatre Performance Program and Goodspeed Musicals a non-profit organization dedicated to musical theater based in Connecticut. We also talk about the intersection between David's love of folk music and Irene's love of Broadway musicals.
33 minutes | Feb 18, 2017
Broadway triple threat: Stephanie Rothenberg
Stephanie Rothenberg is currently an ensemble member in "Sunset Boulevard," with Glenn Close, on Broadway. Prior to appearing in "Sunset Boulevard," Rothenberg was a part of the original Broadway ensemble of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" starring Daniel Radcliffe and understudied the role of Rosemary, performing it many times opposite Radcliffe She then assumed the role full time when Nick Jonas replaced Radcliffe. Between Broadway appearances Stephanie starred as Maria in "The Sound of Music" at the Stratford Festival, she appeared in Aziz Ansari’s popular Netflix show "Master of None" and acted in an award winning short film that might be on its way to an Oscar nod in 2018. I spoke with Stephanie, between performances in New York, about the high and lows of life on stage as well as the difference between the ensemble in "How to Succeed" vs. "Sunset Boulevard."
38 minutes | Feb 1, 2017
Performer, writer, impresario Sandra Shamas
Sandra's career began in Toronto on the stages of The Second City and the legendary night club The Rivoli where she shared the highs and lows of a struggling young performer with fellow entertainers including The Kids in the Hall. But it was at the Edmonton Fringe Festival where Sandra finally broke out, with her hit show "My Boyfriend’s Back and There’s Going to be Laundry." A few years later, she started a new life, moving to a farm where, she took a break from creating and traversed her internal landscape, surveying her life, and how it intersected with those around her. And soon the former urban dweller let herself fall into the rhythms the surrounding nature. She's performed at top theatres in Canada and is recognized for not only her writing and performing, but her work as an impresario.
39 minutes | Jan 29, 2017
Actor, director Joseph Ziegler
Joseph was born in Minneapolis and studied theatre at the University of Minnesota. He was accepted into the National Theatre School of Canada and graduated in 1979. From 1980-82 he was a member of Christopher Newton's first acting ensemble at The Shaw Festival. In the podcast he talks about performing with Nora McLellan in Brecht's "A Respectable Wedding." As well as being part of the Stratford Festival company from 1984-87, Ziegler appeared in many TV shows including "Street Legal," "North of 60" and "ENG." In 1990 Robin Phillips invited him to play Clarence opposite Denzel Washington in a New York production of "Richard III" in Central Park. Ziegler's work with Philips, as well as other influential directors comes up in the podcast. In 2010 he played Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman" at Soulpepper opposite Nancy Palk his wife. He mentions that despite his love of Shakespeare it was his favourite role. Ziegler is currently appearing as Henry VIII in the Soulpepper production of "The Last Wife," featuring the original cast from The Stratford Festival. In response to a listener's question from Facebook we touch on the similarities between Donald Trump and Henry VIII. Ziegler shares one of the greatest lessons he ever learned about acting when he was the understudy for "Othello" at Stratford and unexpectedly had to play the role with no rehearsal.
42 minutes | Dec 6, 2016
Actor, improviser and writer: Seán Cullen
Seán Cullen was regular on the Tonight Show and he's appeared on stages in Chicago, Toronto and at the Stratford Festival. He writes books for young readers, his "Hamish X and The Cheese Pirates," won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime Book. Plus he has a podcast, the Seanpod, and with all that going on he still finds time to play hockey three times a week. Seán Cullen and I talk about his improvisation and writing, as well as his path to success in comedy. He also talks about his work on stage and why he describes his time performing 8 shows a week in "The Producers" as "just trying not to get sick." Seán mentions his time as a CBC Radio host and says "I was rambling completely and this drove the CBC Mad." But his rambling got the attention of a book publisher that led to the opportunity to his write books for young readers. Seán's Books: Hamish X and the Cheese Pirates Hamish X and the Hollow Mountain The Prince of Neither Here Nor There The Prince of Two Tribes[Paperback]
40 minutes | Nov 10, 2016
Actor, producer: Ross Petty
Ross Petty is one of Canada's most successful and enduring theatrical impresarios. For the past 20 years he’s been producing family musicals at Toronto’s historic Elgin theatre. The shows are in the tradition of the British holiday Pantomime, where actors ad lib and the audience interacts with the antics on stage. If you’ve ever produced a show you’ll want to listen because Ross talks about how he went from being an actor in the show to taking over as producer, getting sponsors, hiring writers, actors, being the driving force behind one of Canada’s most successful, ongoing theatrical events and how he recovered when he lost money. I forgot to mention as well as doing all that Ross also stars in the shows, wearing a dress. Ross has performed at Le Lido in Paris and appeared with Betty Grable in the London West End musical Belle Starr. He made his Broadway debut in Arthur Kopit's Wings, created the role of Eddie Dorrance on All My Children, and co-starred with Ginger Rogers and Sid Caesar in a national tour of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes.
39 minutes | Nov 10, 2016
Improviser, actress: Naomi Snieckus
Naomi went from dreaming about doing the works of Shakespeare and Shaw to abandoning the theatre classics for The Second City. These days you might recognize Naomi from her role in the hit comedy TV show “Mr.D” where she plays Bobbi the gym teacher. And in the theatre and comedy community she’s well respected as a founding member, and performer, in the National Theatre of the World.
38 minutes | Oct 25, 2016
Singer, actress: Susan Gilmour
Susan is best know for playing Fantine in "Les Miserables" on Broadway and with the first international tour. Susan shares some of the techniques she used to play one of the most celebrated parts in musical theatre. We also discuss the time, early in her career, Susan lost a job as a cruise ship entertainer. as well as her critically acclaimed work at The Stratford Festival with director Peter Hinton.
20 minutes | Oct 10, 2016
Writer, actor: Ins Choi remastered
This is a special 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 where Ins both directed and acted."Kim’s Convenience" follows in the footsteps of other Fringe shows like "Da Kink in My Hair,""Machomer,""The Drowsy Chaperone" and others that have gone onto great things. 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.
43 minutes | Oct 7, 2016
Dancer, actress: Bethany Kovarik
Bethany has been dancing for most of her life. She's danced in New York and at some of the best theatres in Canada. She also gives back to the dance community by sharing her skills with younger dancers. She loves educating and mentoring young dancers to be the strongest performer; mentally, emotionally, and physically. She's particularly enjoys working with dancers in their late teens. She's a proud graduate of the Sheridan Institute’s Musical Theatre Performance Program. We talk about her work in A Chorus Line at The Stratford Festival as well as the carer decisions dancers have to make.
40 minutes | Jul 14, 2016
Improviser, actor, director Rebecca Northan
Rebecca is an innovative artists and a creative entrepreneur. I Interviewed Rebecca after a performance of her show "Blind Date," an improvisational show unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Rebecca is truly a theatre innovator. Rebecca recently won a Dora Mavor Moore award for her performance in "Blind Date" and her other show, "Legend Has It," just got nominated for a Betty Mitchell Award in Calgary in the category of Best Ensemble. We talk about how a 10 minute theatre experiment turned into a full-length show that played off-Broadway and London's West End.
40 minutes | Jun 24, 2016
Actor, director, writer, Bruce Dow
Bruce is best known for his four featured roles on Broadway, his 12 seasons in leading roles at the Stratford Festival and his Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning performances at Buddies in Bad Times, the world's largest and longest running LGBTQ theatre. His career at the Stratford Festival began as an ensemble member in HMS Pinafore and he went on to receive rave reviews as a leading man. We talk about that professional transformation and how Bruce transcended personal struggles to achieve a life changing transformation too.
45 minutes | May 13, 2016
Actor, playwright: Nicky Guadagni
Nicky 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 private performance in people's home and eventually made it's way to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. 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.
34 minutes | Apr 26, 2016
Brooke Johnson: Trudeau Stories
Brooke is an award winning actor who, when she was in her teens, launched her career by working as a production assistant at the Shaw Festival, often driving actors to and from Toronto. She has an expansive career but I decided to focus our chat on her solo performance "Trudeau Stories." She met Trudeau at the National Theatre School of Canada where she was studying acting. They shared a dance at the school and their cheek to cheek moment sparked a relationship that lasted years. Brooke documented the relationship with Trudeau in a journal and in 2007 created the solo performance, "Trudeau Stories" based on her time with Trudeau. We talk about her time with Trudeau and how she developed the solo show.
50 minutes | Apr 13, 2016
Live From the Winnipeg Comedy Festival
This episode was recorded at before a live audience at The Winnipeg Comedy Festival. My Guests: Ashley Moffatt comedian, writer, and father figure to two small dogs. Adam Schwartz comedian, Fringe Festival performer and author of I've got Aspergers, so I’m better than you. Dan Taylor comedian and Pastor. Meghan Riley theatre geek and comedy nerd who In her spare time, works full-time as a litigator and raises two delightful little goofballs.
44 minutes | Mar 25, 2016
Dayna Manning, singer, songwriter
Dayna Manning is one of Canada’s most accomplished singer songwriters. When she was in her teens she had a hit song on the radio and soon after that found herself, in the words of Joni Mitchell, "Stoking the star maker machinery behind the popular song." At times the chat you are about to listen to unfolds like an episode of the popular TV show Nashville, except it’s not a TV show. This is the story of a real person, trying to make a difference in her community and the world through music. We discuss how Tom Petty was an influence, and her work with Grammy award winning music producer and engineer Jim Scott. As well as having a successful solo career, these days Dayna is playing sold out concerts with Emm Gryner and Lindsay Schindler as part of the popular trio Trent Severn.
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