Sunday, October 28, 2012
I Interview Playwrights Part 515: Aaron Bushkowsky
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta
Current Town: Vancouver, BC
Q: What are you working on now?
A: A new black comedy, Play With Monsters.
Q: How would you characterize Canadian theater?
A: Canadian theatre is in vital need of more funding but thematically, things are exploding all over the place!
Q: Tell me about Solo Collective.
A: Solo Collective is one of Vancouver's most recognized Indie theatre companies that produces consistently entertaining and evocative comedies. The company -- now in its 13th year -- has been recognized with 30 Jessie Richardson Theatre nominations and has received a number of awards for acting and writing in particular.
Q: Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.
A: I grew up as the second oldest kid in a family of five. My father was a prairie Baptist preacher who moved from rural community to rural community preaching hell and brimstone. I've been an agnostic since I was 14 and my family has never recovered; they all still go to church... I go to theatre.
Q: If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?
A: I would eliminate plays that have no relevance on our immediate lives... particularly old, dusty plays from several hundred years ago written by privileged, rich old white dudes.
Q: Who are or were your theatrical heroes?
A: I love Mamet and Stoppard... but my relatives could be fairly theatrical, particularly around Christmas when the egg nog started pouring.
Q: What kind of theater excites you?
A: I'm into the surreal black comedies ... and anything that is outside the box with a clear narrative. I also love theatre where things go wrong and end up being funnier and better than intended.
Q: What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?
A: Sit on your hats...it's gonna get dangerous soon! And advice from my film mentor Norman Jewison, there are five things you need to make it in theatre or film and number five is talent. In order they are “Persistence, Who You Know, Timing, Blind Ass Luck, and Talent.”
Q: Plugs, please:
A: Play With Monsters plays at Vancouver's Granville Island Performance Works from Nov. 9-18, 8 p.m. Don't miss it, there's Zombies and Ninjas in it!